The Waterloo City Council agreed, six to nothing, last(Mon) night with Councilman Bruce Jacobs abstaining, to re-configure the money-losing Crossroads Tax Increment Financing (or TIF) District.
The Crossroads TIF was established five years ago, but has not generated enough new tax revenue to pay for incentives the City provided to businesses there…..so Waterloo has lent money from its general operating fund to the Crossroads TIF to meet its obligations. Long-time Waterloo resident Forest Dillavou continues to voice concerns over what he considers the City’s overuse of TIFs as an economic development tool.
Waterloo’s Chief Financial Officer, Michelle Weidner didn’t strike a particularly optimistic note herself, saying if a solution can’t be found, residents’ property taxes will go up.
In order to correct the shortfall and, hopefully, repay the general fund, the City will redraw the Crossroads TIF boundaries, eliminating the sections that have lost value, including the mall, adding them back into the district at their present, lower value, and expanding the TIF to include some commercial areas along La Porte Road, north of Crossroads, and west of Hess Road near the water park.