Back in March of 2012, the Indianapolis-Marion County Council created a commission to study the usage and impact of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts in the county. In particular, the commission was to review the status and performance of current TIF districts in Marion County, to review and make recommendations to make more transparent the process by which TIF districts are created and ended, and to study the impact of TIF districts on the other taxing units that provide services to the district (generally one of the biggest concerns about the use of tax increment financing).
The activities and meetings of the commission can be found here:
On June 28, the commission just came out with its final report, which is by far the best and most clearly-written exposition and analysis of tax increment financing I’ve ever seen. Although a lot of the data and some of the specific enabling ordinances are specific to Marion County (and to the use of TIF districts in an urban area), I highly recommend anyone interested in community and economic development to read this report. Among other things, it explains very clearly:
- The life cycle of a TIF district
- How TIF compares to other economic development tools
- Fiscal analysis and impacts of tax increment financing
- The role of TIF in overall economic development strategy
I will be blogging further about this report and bringing in some comparisons to Monroe County’s 3 TIF districts and Bloomington’s 6.