TIF District receives first application

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Just a couple months after its final passage from Elizabethton and Carter County officials, a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District is starting to pick up traction with its first informal application.

During Tuesday’s Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency meeting, commissioners voted to finalize a review committee that will look over each application for the TIF District.

“Once we got the policies and plan passed through County Commission, City Council and Housing Authority, we were able to start accepting applications,” said Jon Hartman, Elizabethton director of planning and economic development. “This was more of just an administrative formality to approve the review committee for applications.”

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Hartman, who was in attendance for Tuesday’s meeting, added the committee is made of experts in the field of finance. The review committee is comprised of City Finance Director Deborah Kessler, County Finance Director Brad Burke, David LeVeau of Security Federal, Kathy Campbell with Northeast Community Credit Union and Russ Swanay. Hartman added that all besides Swanay have formally committed to be part of the committee as of Tuesday.

“They will get the application, review the application and make sure it is congruent with the policies,” he said. “They will also make sure the tax-increment incentive is really a last-dollar incentive.”

Once an application has been reviewed by the committee, they will make a recommendation that will be presented before EHDA commissioners.

City and county officials voted to approve the Watauga River Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Plan, which allowed the creation of a TIF District that consists of roughly 135.3 acres of land  spanning from behind Wal-Mart off Overmountain Drive to property near Cherokee Park Drive.

The city is estimating $218,000-plus annually in additional property tax revenue over the course of 30 years for the Watauga River Redevelopment Area and Urban Renewal Plan.

Now with the committee in place, work can start on an application that is in the process of being submitted for a motel to be placed within the TIF District area.

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.


In other business, the EHDA Board voted to approve:

• A resolution to participate in the TML Risk Management Pool “Safety Partners” Loss Control Matching Grant Program.

• A resolution to address recent collection policy and procedures.

• A resolution to amend the resident risk control rules.