Developers receiving tax-increment finance money from the city of Indianapolis will be asked to set local hiring goals under a new TIF policy agreed upon by City-County Council leaders and Mayor Greg Ballard's administration.
The TIF policy is spelled out in an agreement adopted Monday night by the council's Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee. The Metropolitan Development Commission accepted it earlier this month.
“What this does is it puts discipline around how you analyze a TIF and clear expectations for those who want to propose a TIF,” Council Vice President John Barth said.
The policy could quell the controversy that tends to surround TIF districts, which capture property-tax revenue from new developments for the benefit of a district rather than the entire city. Some councilors have questioned the continued creation of TIF districts, given the impact on other taxing entities, including schools, and the city's ongoing struggle to pay for basic services.
Barth and Vop Osili, the other Democratic councilor who worked on the agreement with Ballard's team, each have backed the creation or expansion of TIF districts. Osili was a key vote on the controversial expansion of the downtown TIF district to include Massachusetts Avenue.
Part of that deal, which paved the way for redevelopment of the city's fire station property, requires developers and builders to hire people who live in the district or adjoining neighborhoods.
Ballard's team readily agreed to make local hiring part of the policy, which includes clawback provisions, Osili said. “When we're spending Marion County taxpayers' dollars, it's important we consider who the beneficiaries are,” he said.