City of Garrison sign

On, April 9, Garrison City Council spent the majority of its meeting on the discussion of tax increment financing (TIF) and using it to attract new developers for the city.

Todd Hagen, an associate from Ehler’s (a municipal financial advising firm) presented the case for TIF, a subsidy where a city, such as Garrison, could draw in developers and new businesses by promising a property tax break. This would, in theory, speed up the rate in which a city grows and long-term would result in more tax revenue.

The primary concern of the audience was their own property taxes, which the representative said would be unaffected, as TIF deals do not result in any immediate loss of property tax revenue. Rather, it allows incubation time for a new development to grow before property tax adjusts to the added property value of that development.

For example, if a developer moved into town and purchased a lot to build a new apartment building, the city would continue charging property tax as if that lot was still empty, giving the apartment building time to begin generating revenue before the training wheels are taken off and the owners begin paying for the full value of their development. This way, the city is not giving up any current revenue (though while the financing plan is executed, the city will be missing out on potential revenue temporarily), and property tax won’t be raised for other residents.

TIF can be used in the case of renovations as well. If a building in the city requires large amounts of reconstruction, TIF can be used while the construction takes place and until revenue is generated from the updated building.

Senior housing was recognized by the council as an increasingly urgent need for the city, and the requirement to attract an interested developer to build it was acknowledged as well.

Briefs

•The city engineer reminded the council that city boundaries require verification.

• The council acknowledged and accepted a donation from Garrison Commercial Club.

• Council approved a gambling permit for the Commercial Club.

• The Deerwood Bank signature card was updated.

• Council discussed reclassifying tax-forfeited land in Garrison.

• The Clarke mosquito contract was extended three years in exchange for fixed price.

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