Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tribune Reports SBA Findings on Terre Haute TIF Complaint Not Expected Until Audit Complete

From the Kokomo Tribune:

A State Board of Accounts official said Monday that his agency is not likely to present its findings on a complaint over control of Terre Haute’s redevelopment funds until an ongoing routine audit is complete.

But that same official, Todd Austin, SBA director of special districts, said that generally state law permits the lending from one city account to another city account. That, he said, would include redevelopment dollars — called tax increment finance (TIF) dollars.

And state law also clearly limits how TIF money may be used, he said. Also, TIF money loaned to another area of the city would have to be fully repaid within the budget year.  

“It’s kind of a complicated issue, it really is,” Austin said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. “It’s still being discussed.”

Cliff Lambert, executive director of the Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment, said he believes that the administration of Mayor Duke Bennett has used Redevelopment Commission TIF dollars to pay immediate city expenses, such as payroll. Lambert contends that’s not allowed under Indiana law.