TCS no longer part of city tax agreements

TROY — In an Oct. 14 memo to Troy City Council, the city informed council members that the Troy City Schools are not interested in participating in the city’s future Tax Increment Financing district programs for downtown and riverfront development.

In the memo, Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington said, “Development Director Tim Davis and I have been informed by representatives of the Troy School District that their board is not interested in participating in the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts proposed for downtown and riverfront economic development projects.”

Troy City Schools Superintendent Chris Piper said, “Troy City Schools does currently participate in limited TIF agreements with the city of Troy. However, when asked recently to participate in additional TIF agreements, we did share our concerns with city officials. Our school district is currently adjusting to substantial state funding cuts and these new TIF agreements would have a detrimental impact on district finances by eliminating district tax revenues from new construction or future improvements.”

Troy City Schools and the city currently are enrolled in the Troy Towne Park tax increment finance district agreement, which began in 2003 and five Enterprise Zone Agreements.

City of Troy Mayor Robin Oda said, “While we are surprised and disappointed by their decision, we believe that the TIF investments would have had potentially huge positive impacts on the schools’ revenue streams by adding quality of life, infrastructure improvements and other investments that would ultimately lead to increased income tax revenues. We have always enjoyed a positive partnership with the schools, and that will continue to evolve as we evaluate all of our community partnerships in light of services provided and the value they bring to the city.”

The Ohio Enterprise Zone Program is an economic development tool administered by municipal and county governments that provides real and personal property tax exemptions to businesses making investments in Ohio. The Enterprise Zone Program can provide tax exemptions for a portion of the value of new real and personal property investment (when that personal property is still taxable) when the investment is made in conjunction with a project that includes job creation. Existing land values and existing building values are not eligible (except as noted within rare circumstances). Local communities may offer tax incentives for non-retail projects that are establishing or expanding operations in the state of Ohio. Real property investments are eligible for tax incentives, as well as personal property investments for those entities that continue to pay personal property tax.

The Troy Towne Park TIF District will expire in 2033. The TIF is for project financing of the Troy Towne Park area. There are five Enterprise Zone Agreements including three ConAgra Foods EZA’s for 15 years for 2010, 2012, and 2019 for 100 percent value. Clopay Building Products has an EZA from 2015 for 100 percent for 15 years and Arc Abrasives has a 10-year EZA for 75 percent of value.

In the memo, Titterington said the city is exploring the riverfront and downtown TIFs as means to finance restoration and preservation of downtown buildings, utility line replacements, streetscapes, on-street protect boulevards, public parking, and riverfront access points.

“We will continue to evaluate not only alternative financing options, but also our past and ongoing relationships with our community partners,” Titterington said. “However, in the near term, we will not be recommending TIF legislation, as the effort and expense will yield only marginal results.”