Friday, August 30, 2013

Sen. Greg Walker Offers Common Sense Fixes For Our Broken TIF Law

It's refreshing to see that there are state lawmakers taking notice of how badly Indiana's TIF law is being abused. Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus) pens a thoughtful blog post on the Indiana Policy Review's site in which he astutely observes that Indiana is heading in the same direction as California before state lawmakers had no choice but to do away with the state's TIF law altogether due to the inability of local government officials to utilize the economic development tool in a rational way without bankrupting local governments. He offers three recommendations for improving the law, all of which are worthy of serious consideration.
  • Cap the total assessed valuation in any given geography employing TIF so that less duty falls on the possibly declining taxpayer base to pay for growing service burdens.
  • Return the statute to its original purpose of public good with shared communal benefit rather than targeting investment that enriches a small subset of the tax base.
  • Engage all levying bodies in the conversation — openly and publicly — so that Jill and Joel Citizen can more easily consider public-spending options fairly. Then a community can set its priorities for the best use of scarce or even declining funds. The duty falls on elected leaders to gather that more informed public opinion while educating the yet uninformed, not treating them like the unwashed. Not all opinions are equal in merit, but all taxpayers should have equal opportunity to contribute their thoughts. This is the job of an elected leader — making decisions with the best information available in an open fashion


Jon said...

I'd add one more recommendation to this; all TIFs should have and end date and not be extended after that end date.

Flogger said...

A common sense proposition. This means it will go nowhere in the Indiana Legislator. The Lobbyists are probably already on the phone.

Bradley said...

I'm glad Senator Walker has some common sense with the TIF issue because when he was on the Unemployment Insurance Oversight Committee he appeared to have absolutely NO clue about how the unemployment system works. He didn't even bother to try to learn and every stupid question that fell out of his mouth echoed as such. Maybe he decided to be serious at his job.