Back in July, I posted about the Indianapolis-Marion County Council Study Commission report on the use and costs and benefits of TIF districts as an economic development tool (link here).
When that study was commissioned, it got me thinking that I’d like to see a similar analysis of the TIF districts here in Monroe County — particularly the Westside Economic Development Area. Namely: is the creation of a TIF district for industrial/employment activities a good investment on behalf of Monroe County taxpayers?
Yesterday I had the opportunity to kick off that analysis. A project team from Professor Jim Grandorf’s (Clinical Professor of Accounting at the IU Kelley School of Business) A569 Field Consulting Project graduate course has accepted our project proposal for their semester-long consulting project, and met with me and several other County officials from the legal department and the Commissioners’ office yesterday to frame the project and our goals. We will be working closely with the four graduate accounting students for the rest of the semester, providing them with a drink-from-the-firehose crash course in public sector finance and tax policy, and they will provide us with essentially a cost-benefit analysis of our Westside TIF district. I’m very much looking forward to this project, and, having seen other work products created from project teams in this course from past years, am confident that it will provide significant value to the residents of Monroe County, who are often rightfully skeptical of economic development tools like TIF.