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By TESA CULLI
MT. VERNON — As the city moves forward to implement a downtown tax increment finance district, those who own property in the area have been taking advantage of inducement resolutions.
“We’re on track to get the Downtown TIF completed by the end of February,” Mt. Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley said. “The inducements are part of the incentives, and it’s working as an incentive.”
The inducements allow owners of property and developers to obtain financing to start projects before the TIF is implemented.
The most recent inducement resolution was passed by the City Council Monday night, with property owned by Jay Koch through Liberty Land Group, Ltd. at 104 N. Ninth St., according to City Manager Ron Neibert.
“By having the inducement resolution passed, it makes any cost incurred during renovations following the passage of the resolution and up to the time the TIF is put into place eligible for TIF benefits,” Neibert explained. “It’s like grandfathering in a piece of property.”
Neibert said eight properties have been approved for inducement resolutions by the City Council: 104 N. Ninth St., by Koch through Liberty Land Group; 102 N. Ninth St., by Koch through Liberty Land Group; 315 S. Ninth St., by Koch through Triple L Holdings; property at the corner of South 10th Street and Newby Street, by Robin Hensley; 1419 S. 10th St., by Kevin Green; 820 through 824 Main St., by Koch; 826 through 830 Main St., by Koch through Liberty Land Group; and Ed Breese for the Byrd Watson store on Main Street.
“When the TIF goes in, each of the projects will have a separate redevelopment agreement which will define the scope and level of the assistance available from the TIF program,” Neibert said.
“With the downtown area, given the costs of renovations, it’s hard to have a project marketable without the incentives offered by a TIF,” Neibert said. “Are we going to fund 100 percent of any project? Absolutely not. ... This is a way to get started eliminating the unsightly, under-utilized buildings in the area and bring new business and stimulate the downtown area economy.”
The inducement resolutions explain the wish of the city for the developer to get work under way before the TIF is in place.
“Whereas, the city wishes to encourage the developer to pursue a plan for the redevelopment of the property and make such expenditures as are reasonably necessary in that regard with confidence that said expenditures may be allowable redevelopment project costs under the proposed tax increment financing plan once a redevelopment agreement between the developer and the city is adopted,” according to the resolution.
The inducement resolution is not a guarantee the developer will get TIF funds, however.
“The City Council has examined the proposed property and circumstances, and at this time believe that it is reasonable to believe that a redevelopment agreement can be adopted for said property and expenditures of development costs in furtherance of the potential development should be allowable redevelopment project costs under the proposed tax increment financing plan, provided that this resolution is not a guarantee that any such redevelopment agreement will be adopted, but rather an expression of the sense of the city at this time,” according to the resolution.
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