New Richmond city council votes to name TIF districts 'distressed'Area News
-- After lobbying the state legislature to pass a bill to help communities with tax increment financing struggles, New Richmond has designated one of its districts as “severely distressed.”
By: Jeff Holmquist - New Richmond News, Pierce County Herald
NEW RICHMOND - After lobbying the state legislature to pass a bill to help communities with tax increment financing struggles, New Richmond has designated one of its districts as “severely distressed.”
The city’s TIF district along Highway 64 has not done as well as city officials had hoped since it was established. Not only have few businesses constructed buildings along the transportation corridor, the value of the land in that district has dropped dramatically over the past few years.
As a result, the city is facing a $4.4 million deficit in the district in the coming years, according to Sean Lentz, the city’s financial advisor with Ehlers and Associates.
To correct that problem, the council voted unanimously at its regular meeting Monday to designate TIF #8 as severely distressed and to identify TIF #5 (the city’s Business and Technical Park) as a donor district to help pay the financial obligations of the failing district. TIF #5 has done so well financially that it also helps pay for obligations within TIF #6 (along Richmond Way).
Even though TIF #5 will continue to help out the two struggling district, Alderman Jim Zajkowski said that doesn’t mean things can’t turn around in TIF #8 or TIF #6 if the economy starts to pick up again.
“This is the worst case scenario,” said Zajkowski. “If we get more growth out there, it’s going to help everything.”