TIF Funding Drives Downtown Greenville Growth


Tax rules limit spending options, city officials say

April 14, 2008

By Ben Szobody – Greenville News

Intertwined in the public debate over which city of Greenville projects are most worth paying for in a new $9.2 million capital budget is a rule-bound, $5 million annual tax funding stream that has long given Greenville a leg up over North Carolina cities trying to spark similar downtown booms.

Called tax increment financing, or TI funding, city officials say it’s a linchpin of downtown’s resurgence and simultaneously one of the least understood parts of government, contributing to the refrain that downtown gets the lion’s share of tax-funded improvements.

As a redevelopment tool, it’s also become harder to use, while North Carolina is catching up.

More than one-third of the proposed capital budget currently before City Council for the next fiscal year is slated for downtown projects, city budget documents show. That includes $1.2 million in TIF funds that will pay for street improvements and sewer work at venues including the Kroc Center and RiverPlace.

Together, the TIF districts covering the West End and the central business district are expected to generate roughly $4.9 million this year and more than $6 million next year, said Phil Robey, director of the city’s Office of Management and Budget.

This article has been shortened due to the length………


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