Seasonal Gifts and Trick TIF

Long-time readers will know that I occasionally make refrigerator magnets and give them away through the Golden Library and the Golden Visitors Center.  I’ve made three new ones for Halloween.  They’re available at the Visitors Center now and should be at the Library by this evening.  Quantities are limited, so get them while you can.

And furthermore…the Golden Halloween calendar is now up, so you can start tracking Halloween-related events!

TIF:  Trickier than it seems:
Yesterday, I remarked that Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is based on improvements to improvements to sales tax.  I’ve since learned that it can also be based on improvements to property tax.  It can be both or either–whatever the City negotiates with the developer.

I also commented that TIF is a good deal for both the City and the developer.  One of my readers, Tom Atkins, responded with the following counter-argument:

The downside of this scheme is that it is actually taking property tax revenue from other entities – taxes which voters throughout the county or district (not just in the development zones) have specifically approved. The library system is an example, but perhaps more importantly, the school system, some fire districts, and the county itself. As a cumulative result, those entities end up with revenue shortfalls and have to come back to the voters for property tax increases to make up for those – which means that taxpayers throughout the county are actually financing the development within the TIF area. So your comment that it’s good for both the city and the developer is correct – but it’s bad for all the other property-tax-financed entities in the county and for all the taxpayers outside of the TIF development area.

Tom Atkins is the President of Golden’s Historic Neighborhoods Association and a former member of the Jefferson County Library Board of Directors.