Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Star Reports Green Council Votes to Approve TIF Financing Plan

From the Indianapolis Star:

The Greenwood City Council voted 7-1 Monday to approve a tax increment financing plan that will raise millions of dollars for downtown streets, sidewalks and building facades.

But first there were verbal fireworks from Sam Hodson, an attorney for the city, who accused Clark-Pleasant Superintendent Patrick Spray of spreading bogus numbers and "misinformation" in an effort to derail the proposed TIF district.

"We're not the problem," Hodson said, accusing Clark-Pleasant of overspending on past building projects. "We're not the cause of their high tax rate."

Spray has been a vocal critic of the proposed TIF, which diverts new tax revenue from schools, libraries and other local governments and spends it on infrastructure improvements designed to attract growth.

Spray declined to address Hodson directly, saying only "facts are friendly."

But Greenwood Community Schools Superintendent Kent DeKoninck called Hodson's presentation "insulting."

"We're trying to work together here," DeKoninck said.

In the end, council member Bruce Armstrong cast the only no vote.

Before the plan won approval, the council voted 8-0 for an amendment to make it easier for Clark-Pleasant Schools and other local taxing bodies to receive funding from the TIF district.

The council held the special meeting after the TIF plan failed on a 4-4 vote Feb. 18. Tim McLaughlin, who was absent last week, voted yes Monday.