Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

Tax Increment Financing (TIFS) is another way to put tax money away to borrow against for the mayor’s discretionary spending.  An interesting description of TIFS is to be found in Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_increment_financing.

Here is a quote.

“Although the TIF method has been discontinued in the state it began in, California, thousands of TIF districts still currently operate nationwide in the US, from small and mid-sized cities, to the State of California which will be paying off debt on old TIFs for years to come. As of 2008, California had over four hundred TIF districts with an aggregate of over $10 billion per year in revenues, over $28 billion of long-term debt, and over $674 billion of assessed land valuation.[7] TIF began in California in 1952, but the state has currently discontinued the use of them due to lawsuits.”

If California thinks TIFs are bad then they are really bad!  The mayor’s TIF will begin funding in 2018.  These are quotes from the December 16, 2016 City Council Agenda where the mayor’s TIF was approved.  http://www.cedarhilltx.com/documentcenter/view/23694

​”The attached Ordinance is the formal action that establishes the City Center as TIF

Zone Number One, sets the Baseline year as January 1, 2016 and provides that 75% of the incremental growth of Cedar Hill ad valorem taxes within the established zone are to be deposited into a TIF fund annually. 

 That a board of directors for the Zone (“Board”) is hereby created. The Board shall consist of seven (7) members comprised of City Council members from Places 1 through 6 and the Mayor, aswell as one (1) member from each taxing entity that participates in the Zone The Mayor shall serve as chairman of the Board and the Board may elect a vice chairman and such other officers as the Board sees fit.
 

That the Tax Increment Base of the City or any other taxing unit participating in the Zone for the Zone is the total appraised value of all real property taxable by the City or other taxing unit participating in the Zone and located in the Zone, as defined by Section 311.012 (c) of the Tax Code, determined as of January 1, 2016, the year in which the Zone was designated as a tax increment financing zone (the “Tax Increment Base”).”

Recognize the outline below.  Yes, you are right. The TIF zone is the city center boundaries.  This is another part of the grandiose MonstroCITY planning.  So 75% of the taxes in this area are to be put in a city center TIF. So, well you may ask, why does the city need new bonds?  You need to ask them.

​How does this TIF affect you?  Well, taxes set aside in the TIF are exempt from being counted against the rollback rate.  I.e., the city can have higher revenues from whatever source and stay just below the rollback rate and not have to come to the voters to justify the new revenues, because they have moved some taxes elsewhere. Yes, this is a convoluted process.  But the city is very good at convolution as advised by outsiders.