Mayor Chris Beutler today said the use of tax increment financing (TIF) for 17 projects completed in downtown Lincoln has increased the City's valuation base by more than $200 million. That has resulted in $25 million in additional tax revenue to help local governments provide important quality of life services. The Mayor said the 17 projects are an example of the payback the community is receiving on its TIF investments.
"These additional tax revenues support kids in our classrooms, public safety, County and City roads and a host of other important services," Beutler said. "The projects also represent tens of millions of dollars in new investment and new jobs in the private sector. Our use of TIF is creating a more vibrant community and a strong economy."
TIF is used to help improve underutilized property and increase its value. The higher taxes generated by the higher valuations are used for a number of years for public improvements and infrastructure that help the development occur. After a designated number of years, the higher tax revenues go back to the community.
The 17 projects used as examples are Cornhusker Square; Haymarket Square/8th Street; Lincoln Station; the Grainger Building; the Apothecary/Ridnour buildings; Block 35/Embassy Suites; University Square; Que Place; "O" Street Skywalk; Gold's Galleria; Centerstone; Hardy/Buck's; 12th Street Theater; Eagle's/Runza; Ambassador/President; Crossroads House; and North Haymarket.
The total initial valuation on the projects was $15.1 million. The total current valuation on the completed projects is $165.3 million. The annual taxes on the properties have increased from $347,000 to about $3.3 million. Since the end of the TIF period, the properties have generated $28.4 million in tax revenue. If the properties had not been improved they would have generated only $3.2 million over the same period, a difference of about $25 million.
"A judicious and careful use of TIF builds Lincoln's future," Beutler said. "TIF is often misunderstood and maligned, but in reality it is a smart, effective tool for the private and public sector to partner together for the greater good of our community. Together, we are making an impact."