Does TIF divert money from schools?

No – actually, TIFs can create money for schools.

Receiving Same Revenue

First, schools continue to receive all the tax revenue they were entitled to before the creation of the TIF district.

District Overlap

Second, under most circumstances, a school's state aid is greater when a school district overlaps a successful TIF district. The incremental growth in property values is excluded from the property tax base when the state calculates the amount of aid it should award to a school district. The "poorer" a school district, the more it stands to benefit from having a TIF district.

"New" Money

Third, the property tax revenue generated from private development attracted by a TIF designation is truly "new" money. Without TIF, development would not occur and the tax increment would not be produced. Not only would new tax money not be generated but also the area itself would remain economically stagnant.

Attracting Private Investment

Critics of TIF argue that school districts are entitled to immediately receive a percentage of the TIF increment. However, it is the tax increment that pays for the improvements that attract private investment and stimulates economic growth. If the increment cannot be used for financing improvements and incentives, private investment and economic development will not occur, and no increment will be made available to any taxing bodies.

Pay off the Redevelopment Costs

Fourth, when the TIF district expires, the tax increment that had been used by the municipality to pay off the redevelopment costs is returned to the tax rolls and available to schools and other local taxing bodies---even in areas where property tax "caps" have been adopted.

Incremental Revenue

Fifth, from time to time a TIF district generates more incremental revenue than is needed to retire the TIF debt and pay redevelopment costs. That surplus is often distributed to the other taxing bodies, including schools.

Show All Answers

1. What is Tax Increment Financing?
2. What is a “tax increment”?
3. How will TIFs improve Fairmont?
4. Why is there a need for Tax Increment Financing?
5. Does TIF divert money from schools?
6. How does TIF affect property owners or homeowners in or near the TIF District?
7. Does TIF result in increased tax rates?