In earlier posts, discussed the TIF districts, the financial impact and the bill to monitor Redevelopment Commissions. For those which don’t understand the overreach of these commissions, they have the power to spend with very little oversight. No one seems to be accountable.
Recently, Delaware County voted to bond $5 million backed with TIF revenue. The purpose – installing sidewalks – averaging about $500,000 per mile. Last November, the Muncie Redevelopment Commission authorized temporary payments of $4,500 per month for maintenance at the Village parking garage. Muncie Redevelopment and City forgot to include upkeep of the city-owned garage. No word if that expenditure has been continued, perhaps hoping the public will forget. Is it too early to get the amount of revenue for the parking meters and garage? These charges were guaranteed to make the bond payment, ya know.
There has been a successful effort to monitor the financials of local units, and doing so, found MSD‘s overpayment of quoted work by $300,000. Nothing from the mayor on the State Board of Accounts audit. I don’t know where Liberty Regional Wastewater stands today on their petition against the MSD. Some of you may remember LRWD’s rates increased to fund areas in the MSD which LRWD receives no benefit. Money collected for the purpose of separating sewers also went for a natural gas station about 18 months ago. No update on the revenue generated. However, at the public hearing for MSD rate increases, the citizens requested assurance the tax hike would be strictly used for stormwater. Obviously not.
Muncie Community Schools is still in the market for a superintendent and chief financial officer. No word on how that search is coming along or if there are any viable candidates. A county school is looking for a new superintendent, too.
We’ve covered some basics for Delaware County, MSD and MCS, so let’s take a look at Muncie, Indiana’s tax rates, debt and TIF districts. ThIs is basic information but, more than enough to bring you up to speed, if need be.
Muncie’s 2015 tax rate has increased, in 2014, the rate was $4.93. Today the rate is $5.17. Certified tax rate is based on $100 per assessed valuation. Simply, a property valued at $100.00 would pay $5.17 or a little over 5%. If you would like to see the additional tax rates Muncie and Delaware property owners pay, please look at Delaware County 2015 Budget Order here. Of course, property owners are protected with tax caps or we would be experiencing 2007 property tax crisis all over again.
It is a common belief among economists and those who follow TIF districts nationally. Tax Increment Funding increases the tax burden on all regardless if you live in the TIF district. It makes sense as Muncie has expanded and created TIFs capturing tax dollars which would be designated for schools, libraries, and various other taxing entities. Those specific taxing entities, in turn, must increase their levies for funding and the cycle becomes vicious. In addition, economic revenue may take years to realize if it does at all.
Capital investment, according to Todd Donati during his four years as Delaware County Commissioner, ran about $230 million. It is been close to seven years and no financial return in the county. Still as broke as they were in 2009.
I digress. On to the financials of Muncie City.
Currently, Muncie is holding a debt for the next 24 years of $64,285,942. (See report)
The debt was decreased by approximately $4 million in two weeks. (See report)
Two possible reasons for the decrease come to mind. The city paid off debt although nothing has been in the paper. Or the debt was transferred to another bond and the paperwork has not caught up with the transaction. Hard to say at this point.
Muncie TIF dollars (which the general fund or other taxing units will never see) amounts to $49,748,322. Two weeks ago is was $54,437,236. It appears to reconcile with the decrease in total debt.
If you still don’t believe TIF districts are expensive, consider the $30 million in just interest alone. I would also like to point out, these figures do not appear to include the Village garage at $5 million or the hotel at $30 million. All of the debt included in these reports confirmed with loan documentation, which leads me to believe nothing is available on the Village or hotel. At least not on public
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