|Bills seek clarity with tax increment financing|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 05 March 2015 18:27|
By Sen. Dan Hughes
Nebraska State Senator
There were three bills introduced this year that would make changes to Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
TIF is a method of financing the public costs associated with a private development project. TIF provides a means of encouraging private investment in designated areas by allowing local governments to use future property tax revenues to finance the immediate infrastructure costs needed to attract development.
Nebraska voters approved TIF in 1978. Over the years there have been many changes to TIF.
The three bills introduced this year are:
•LB238—introduced by Senator Mike Groene of North Platte.
It would place a limitation on the bond interest rate issued through the use of tax increment financing of the Federal Reserve Board prime rate plus two percentage points. It also requires that the bonds be sold through public sale.
Another provision of this bill would make sure the funds received from the issuance of bonds or other indebtedness will only be used for expenditures by the city for land acquisition and site preparation on public works.
•LB445—introduced by Senator Groene.
This bill would make cities using TIF submit itemized statements to the Department of Revenue showing funds received pursuant to TIF, as well as showing that these funds were used for city expenditures for land acquisition and preparation, or improvements to public infrastructure or facilities.
It would also allow the Department of Revenue to conduct biannual audits.
•LB596—introduced by Senator Al Davis of Hyannis.
It would create the Tax Increment Financing Division in the office of the Auditor of Public Accounts.
he Division’s primary responsibility would be to provide state-level assistance for TIF projects that are approved under the Community Development Law. The Division would establish a fee structure to cover the Division’s costs.
Currently, all three of these TIF bills are still being held in the Urban Affairs Committee, of which I am a member.
Another bill that has received a lot of attention is LB127, introduced by Senator Ernie Chambers of Omaha. It is a bill Senator Chambers is very passionate about.
This bill is intended to end the authority granted to the Game and Parks Commission to establish a hunting season for mountain lions. He believes there are not many mountain lions and by hunting them we could possibly make them extinct in Nebraska.
I look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns that you might have.
For more about the bills or to watch live streaming video visit nebraskalegislature.gov.