Monday, January 31, 2011

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Funding Community Redevelopment Agencies, by Bobby Garner

Back at Gertee and it's been way cold. 52 below first night home.. warmed up for a few days and back down to 30 below last night. It was 18 in here after I slept ten hours straight and didn't get up to stoke the fire. Within a half hour it was up to 50 and then..tada.... I got my phone line hooked up! It was good to take a break from the internet after so much research for the revision. It's been years since I read THAT many publications about the new laws.

Here's a KEY piece that I will try to get into the revision if it's still possible. What a HUGE can of worms Bobby's opened with this one! Fantastic tool for the folks out there looking for ways to stop this kind of development in their home towns. Thanks Bobby. Good work, as always. :)

Niki, a search of your blog indicates that you may not be aware of this financing scheme.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Funding Community Redevelopment Agencies
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 15:07:42 -0600
From: Bobby Garner
To: recipients

"TIF raises tax revenue for development efforts without raising taxes." Or so goes the sales pitch. But that doesn't mean your property tax doesn't increase. In fact, TIF guarantees that your property taxes will go up to the tune of billions of dollars in many cases. Tax Increment Financing is the diversion of property taxes to Community Redevelopment Agencies.

You've probably heard the news that California's new governor wants to eliminate Community Redevelopment Agencies to reclaim the $1.7 billion in property tax revenue that now goes to them. Why does this have municipal governments screaming foul?
Under California law, redevelopment agencies are granted two powers not otherwise available to cities:
  • Power to acquire property for the purpose of resale to a private developer, utilizing eminent domain if necessary.

  • Tax increment financing, whereby all increases in property tax (including portions that would normally go to the county, school districts and special districts) flow to the redevelopment agency for the sole purpose of paying back funds borrowed for land acquisition and public infrastructure improvements.

Tax Increment Financing works essentially the same in all states which have adopted it. In Ohio; "Tax Increment Financing (TIF) provides local governments with a way to fund public infrastructure improvements (such as roadways, bridges, ditches, water, and sewer lines) that are associated with new development. TIF programs have been widely popular since states began authorizing their use in the 1950s. According to the Tax Increment Finance Coalition, 49 states have enabled local governments to designate TIF districts to finance public infrastructure in some manner or another.

According to the Council of Development Finance Agencies, which runs the Tax Increment Finance Coalition "Tax increment finance has become the most widely used and successful financing tool in the economic development toolbox with nearly every U.S. state, district and territory now having authorizing statutes."
"TIF ‑ or Tax Increment Financing ‑ which is a diversion of property taxes. Originally conceived to help revitalize depressed inner‑city areas, TIF allows a city to designate a small “TIF district” and say: we are going to redevelop this area, and when we do, property values will go up and therefore property taxes will go up. When that happens, we will split the tax revenue into two streams. The first stream, set at the “base value” before redevelopment, will continue to go where it always has: to schools, police, fire, and other public services. The second stream, made up of all the increase – or “tax increment” – will be diverted back into the TIF district to subsidize the redevelopment." - Risks and Opportunities” New York City ‑ March 12, 2003
Community Redevelopment Agencies are private corporations and unaccountable to the people. They have powers that local governments don't have, but they operate with the approval of local governments. The money gained from tax increment financing is handed over by the municipality to the relevant Community Redevelopment Agency to be spent for redevelopment purposes at the discretion of the agency.

You may need to read that last paragraph again to get the full import, because what it means is that your increasing property tax dollars are not applied toward constitutional government responsibilities. One hundred percent of the increases you have seen since TIF was begun in your state, have gone to these private corporations where the funds are used to further increase your taxes if you live in or near any of the redevelopment areas. Tax revenue increases because redevelopment increases the value of the property. The City of Boynton Beach, Florida has a good definition of how this process works with a nice graph illustrating how taxes are increased without the usual political repercussions.

In case you missed it, the United States of America is in a state of chain reaction collapse which has it's roots in the "Radical Left" of the 1960's counter-culture and the institutions which promoted the conditions which it railed against, together with the solutions that were adopted in response. Desegregation, political assassinations, environmental regulations, and numerous other things have contributed to the chaos of Social Disorganization, financial collapse and general systemic breakdown. We can associate all of this with the controlled and well regulated Dialectic process, and that means that it's all going according to a Master Plan of action to achieve a common agenda.

- History of TIF In Maine
"The Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act was passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 1977." - Galesburg, IL
- Ohio's Tax Increment Financing Program
- Tax Increment Financing in Florida
- Understanding Tax Increment Financing
- Legislative History of Urban Renewal in Oregon
- Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in Washington: CRF, HBZ, LRF, and LIFT
Yahoo Searchs: (Your results may vary)
"Community Redevelopment Agency" - 55,600 results
"Community Redevelopment Agency", Communitarian - 7 results
"Tax Increment Financing" - 3,990,000 results
"Tax Increment Financing", Communitarian - 46 results
"Tax Increment Financing" , "Community Redevelopment Agency" - 461 results
These searchs reveal that people writing about TIF rarely mention Community Redevelopment or Communitarianism. Yet it appears to be the primary funding source for all Community Development.

To make this more interesting, try the search terms: "Tax Increment Financing", history, your state

And now you know where a large portion of the money comes from.

Bobby Garner


Bobby Garner said...

I have added some additional comments to the original email as follows here:

Obviously all of this redevelopment work is being done on the backs of property owners. As property owners become fewer, there will be even less attention given to these things. During my research I discovered one word which proves beyond doubt that middle class property owners are the real target of all this sustainable development. 'Gentrification' showed up several times and it's the main concern of the 'Agencies'. They try to design their projects to prevent it. According to Merriam Webster the word dates from 1964.

* Noun 1. gentrification - the restoration of run-down urban areas by the middle class
* Verb 1. gentrify - renovate so as to make it conform to middle-class aspirations

This independent private development is unwanted although it would also increase tax revenue, but it would have to be spent for legitimate government functions by elected officials acting in their official capacity. Privately motivated and funded development circumvents the extra-constitutional powers granted elected officials by the fraudulent TIF legislation adopted at the state level.

This can be seen from the search results using keywords "convene as", "Community Redevelopment". You will discover that elected county commissioners and city councils also convene as their respective Community Redevelopment Agency? And that as so convened, they are unaccountable to the people even though they are spending the people's money, and using their official titles? Is this also the reason they often conduct closed sessions during their regular meetings? To discuss redevelopment issues off the record?

Stop Common Purpose said...

Hi Niki

Nice to see you are back.

This whole situation is like the Twilight Zone or some bad dream - the sort of dream where you try to talk to people or do something and nothing happens the way you expect.

My latest attack is on the Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, whom I accuse of complicity in academic fraud and corrupt abuse of public funds.

I am waiting for a lawyer's letter or some interest from the media but will not be holding my breath.

I wonder what colour bikini Britney is wearing this week.



Kevin Eggers said...

In my home town of Napa, California, the Napa City Council is the Redevelopment Agency. The City Council is trying to protect $7.1 million dollars for redevelopment projects they are afraid they are going to lose. The following is a recent Napa Valley Register article:
Fearing state grab, Napa moves to protect redevelopment funds
January 14, 2011
Natalie Hoffman, Napa Valley Register
The Napa City Council will hold a special meeting Saturday morning to protect city redevelopment funds from being diverted to pay down California’s crushing state deficit.
Council members are poised to commit $7.1 million in redevelopment money for selected public projects, the city said Friday.
The meeting comes on the heels of Gov. Jerry Brown’s state budget proposal, which would shut down state redevelopment agencies, take back unspent money and prevent agencies from forging new contracts.
City officials fear that the Legislature could pass urgency legislation as early as Tuesday to prevent redevelopment agencies from entering into new debt obligations.
“The governor has taken very aggressive steps to destroy redevelopment agencies over the last week,” Mayor Jill Techel said in a written statement Friday. “Our response is a pre-emptive strike to prevent the state from taking money that we committed to use to improve our local economy.”
Some $7.1 million in local redevelopment funds could be taken by the state, according to the city. The money was scheduled for a host of projects, including affordable housing and improvements to downtown and the city’s Soscol Gateway, the city said.
Jeopardized future undertakings include drainage projects on Soscol Avenue, sidewalk and street upgrades, downtown parks and a new parking garage, the city said.
A week ago, the City Council announced that it wanted to contribute $1.5 million in redevelopment money to help erase the Napa Valley Opera House’s debt.
At Saturday’s special meeting, the council is expected to try to legally commit these redevelopment funds to planned projects.
In recent years, the city has used redevelopment money from downtown property taxes to help build the Fifth Street garage in partnership with Napa County, develop Opera House Plaza at Napa Creek and make riverfront upgrades, according to the city.
Redevelopment funds have helped to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of private development downtown, city officials said. Because the city is able to improve public facilities, the private sector is willing to build hotels and commercial buildings, they said.
The city’s redevelopment agency nets about $6.5 million annually from downtown property taxes, the city said.
Councilwoman Juliana Inman said diverting redevelopment money would seriously hurt the city’s affordable housing funding while not guaranteeing more money for schools or other core services.
“I think that the situation is fluid right now,” Inman said. “I don’t know that the legislature is going to go along with the governor’s proposal. They may deliberate it a bit before they rubber stamp it. Let’s hope they do.”
Projects targeted for redevelopment funds
Pearl Street Parking Structure
Downtown Boat Dock
Transit Center off-site improvements
Pearl Street surface parking
Third Street surface parking
Open Space / Parks
Riverfront Green
China Point Overlook
Community Facilities
Napa Valley Opera House
Borreo Building improvements
Street Furniture + Lighting

Interior Drainage
Gasser Master Plan off-site improvements
Pedestrian Improvements

Downtown Housing Project
Permanent Supportive Housing
Gasser Master Plan
Down payment Assistance Program
New Development Rental Housing

Kevin said...


This is another article from the Napa Valley Register:
Study says redevelopment agency creates 310 local jobs
January 29, 2011
Natalie Hoffman, Napa Valley Register
Hundreds of new jobs in Napa County will be lost each year if California’s redevelopment agencies are shut down as part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal, according to a new study.
The Napa Community Redevelopment Agency has been a catalyst for commercial projects that are creating an estimated 310 new local jobs each year, according to a study by a Sacramento-based research firm hired by the California Redevelopment Association.
Statewide, redevelopment agencies create an estimated 304,000 new jobs annually, according to study data from Chico State economists.
This figure is a projection from state redevelopment spending in 2006-’07.
Using $6.5 million annually from downtown property taxes, the Napa agency pays for infrastructure improvements in the downtown area, with plans to begin upgrading the Soscol Gateway. Twenty percent is set aside for affordable housing projects.
Redevelopment-sponsored improvements set the stage for private developers to build hotels and other commercial projects, which, in turn, helps generate sales and hotel tax proceeds for the city, the California Redevelopment Association said.
Napa’s redevelopment undertakings include past improvements to streets and sidewalks and creating new parking garages and plans to improve drainage in the Oxbow and Soscol areas.
The projects generate both short-term construction jobs and longer-term employment, Jennifer La Liberté, the city of Napa’s redevelopment manager, said.
“Those jobs may include retail, restaurant and hospitality jobs from part-time workers to full-time management positions. Other service jobs are created to support those businesses, like banking, bookkeeping, insurance, real estate, legal (services), architecture, landscape architecture, etc.,” La Liberté wrote in an e-mail.
La Liberté added that redevelopment dollars help pay for local affordable housing projects, which result in new construction jobs and other positions.
Napa’s redevelopment agency is a boon to short-term and long-term local economic health, she said.
“I estimate that every dollar the agency spent from 1998 to 2008 on infrastructure and property owner assistance has leveraged approximately $7 in private construction activity,” she said.
“The city’s sales tax in downtown grew 400 percent, from just over $1 million in 1998 to over $4 million in 2008, and property taxes in downtown have steadily grown over that same period as well as for the subsequent two years, despite the economic downturn.”
Gov. Brown wants the Legislature to abolish redevelopment agencies, saying their property tax revenues are needed to help the state support schools and other services.
The Napa City Council met in special session earlier this month to obligate future redevelopment revenues for a host of local projects as an attempt to put this money out of reach of the state.

Anonymous said...


What a girl will do to have a room of one's own. Man oh man, 18 degrees! I can't even imagine it. Still, I am happy for you being back in your cozy little home.


Niki Raapana said...

It warmed up to above freezing and now all the snow on my roofs is melting and i have to get out there and shovel it off today before things start caving in. and I've spent 2 weeks remodeling and reupholstering (Kevin you won't even recognize it). It's too cute to let it cave in now!

Come see me sister!

John, remember the TZ episode "To Serve Man"? It's one of the only ones I saw... and never forgot it. Does England have tax increments?

Bobby, I'm going to search for my area tonight! such a good find.

Kevin, Napa is so communitarian I don't know how you managed to not get sucked into the whole scam. It's interesting that Gov Brown is the one pulling the funds... what do you know about him?

Niki Raapana said...

Anonymous said...

Just in the last months the city counsel of Columbus, Ohio has been able to bring about this secrecy, these private meetings. I believe it was actually put on the ballot and the idiot people voted to allow it. They did it to themselves. Can you believe it? I'll have to double-check the details.

Stop Common Purpose said...


Saw several TZ episodes in my yoof. Can't remember that one specifically.

Tax increments - I don't believe so. At least not in the way you have them. Which is amazing really because the UK has an example of just about every tax known to Man.


Niki Raapana said...

yeah Con, get that for us! be interesting to see exactly how it was described on the ballot.

In Anchorage they needed funds to get the 2020 bowl plan underway, and the plan designated the park dept as the enforcement agency... in the next election anch voters were asked to "improve the parks" with 3 mil. it passed too... aren't they slick?

John, the aliens landed, established a NWO by ending war and famine. Then people got to go visit the home planet and liked it so much they never returned. The humans had found a book on the spaceship, the title translated "To Serve Man." At the very end, one of the translators runs to the ship and yells to her friend just as he's boarding the craft:

"It's a cookbook!"

Bobby Garner said...

Stop the presses!

In many counties the property tax assessor/appraiser is appointed by the County Board of Commissioners!

So, the County Commissioners who also serve as board members of the Community Redevelopment Agency, in order to make certain that the assessed value of the properties connected to their projects in fact increases, they get to appoint one of their own to the assessors office.

In Lee County Georgia, " The Board of Tax Assessors is appointed by the Board of County Commissioners for three year terms."

In Kansas, "The county appraiser’s office is operated under guidelines provided by the Property Valuation Department in Topeka, however the appraiser is still an appointment employee of the commission."

How sweet it is!

Kevin Eggers said...


The response by most Napans on the Napa Register website for the two articles has been negative toward what the city is doing. I believe there are some Napans waking up.

I heard Rosa Koire in an interview on Stanley Monteith's Radio Liberty show saying that much of the funding for Agenda 21 in her city of Santa Rosa comes from the redevelopment funds. Rosa is behind Brown if he can pull it off.

I have no idea what Brown's motives are other than saving the State 50 billion or so dollars.