Update: The School Board voted down the TIF extension, effectively killing any chance to extend the TIF.
The School Board is not taking a break for the coronavirus and has on its 7:00pm, Tuesday night (3/24) Agenda the Shodeeen TIF extension. If the School Board votes against extending the TIF district an extra 12 years (35 years total), the TIF extension option dies and the City Council will have to do something else to keep their pet project going (like undoing the TIF and redoing it for 23 years, which is more complicated).
The School Board voted against the original TIF formation, but TIF district creation does not require their consent, only extension does. The School Board had thought the City underestimated the number of students the apartments would produce, and the school district would be burdened with educating the students without Shodeen paying his fair share for them.
Usually about 2/3 (67%) of our property taxes go to the school district. In a TIF district, tax dollars get diverted from all the many taxing bodies and go to the City alone, which the City then uses to redevelop a “blighted” area, often giving public tax dollars to private developers (like Shodeen). There are some exceptions for the school district: under law, Shodeen’s taxes would have to pay the cost per student (around $12,500 when last mentioned), up to 40% of the apartments’ property tax (excluding the retail space property tax). So BPS101 would receive 0-<40% of the tax dollars from Shodeen instead of 67%, and the other non-City taxing bodies get nothing…for 23 years, or if extended, 35 years.
We all pay taxes to the school district, whether we have children in it or not; it’s part of our societal obligation. Shodeen is being given a pass on his obligation with this TIF district. His taxes will go to pay the bonds that will build his parking garage, a “public” garage that his tenants will use, that doesn’t even have enough parking spaces to meet code for his tenants. Is it fair wealthy Shodeen gets his property taxes reinvested in his property, while the rest of us poorer folks cannot do the same, all the while shortchanging the institutions that rely on our taxes?
Please contact the School Board (button at right) and let them know how you would like them, as your elected representatives, to vote on this. Should they again vote NO to the TIF?