EHDA approves TIF district proposal

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A new redevelopment plan went through its final stage of passage locally.

Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency (EHDA) Board of Commissioners voted to approve the redevelopment and urban renewal plan for the Watauga River Development Area, effectively giving the greenlight for the Elizabethton and Carter County to implement their first tax increment financing (TIF) district.

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Kelly Geagley, EHDA executive director, confirmed the move with the Elizabethton Star by phone Tuesday afternoon.

According to Geagley, the plan was OK’ed by EHDA legal counsel and Jon Hartman, City of Elizabethton Planning and Development director, was in attendance for meeting.

Geagley added the board is looking forward to working with the city and county in an effort to help facilitate economic development within the region.

EHDA is the lead party  for the plan that will take in applications for development in the TIF district. EHDA commissioners were able to hold a workshop with Hartman and legal representation before Tuesday’s meeting to receive final bits of clarity on the project.

The local TIF project passed during the March 2018 meeting by a 21-2-1 vote. City Council unanimously supported the project during their April meeting. If approved by EHDA, it would then have to be signed off from the state before going into effect.

According to information provided by the city’s Planning and Development office, the city is estimating $218,000-plus annually in additional property tax revenue over the course of 30 years.

Once a TIF district is implemented, the city and county would ultimately “freeze” property taxes they would collect on the property while the property owner would continue to pay taxes on the full amount of the assessed value of their property. According to information form the planning development office, “the difference between what the city and county collect and what the property owner pays is set aside into a special TIF fund.” The money gathered would then be reinvested back into the properties receiving the TIF.

Information provided by City Hall indicates the plan area consists of roughly 135.3 acres spanning from behind Wal-Mart off Overmountain Drive to property near Cherokee Park Drive.

The cause for the TIF is to help addressed the “number of buildings that have fell into disrepair” in the area and address environmental issues, according to the redevelopment plan.

With plan now passed through all local channels, the plan will have to be signed off from the state level before going into effect..

For more information, visit and search through the different options available on the site. Included are powerpoints, videos and information on the plan.