Filing error puts Hillsboro TIF in question

A mistake that could prove costly to the city of Hillsboro was revealed at the Dec. 30 meeting of the Marion County Commission.

Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine and the county commissioners agreed that platting outlined for them by members of the county appraiser?s office showed the city?s tax increment financing district doesn?t include the new Midway Motors development as was intended for tax benefits.

Instead, the legal plat includes only the area generally known as the AMPI property. Paine said the TIF was supposed to cover not only Midway, but all of the other lots available in the newly developed Hillsboro Business Park.

Paine said he didn?t know whether the mistake was an oversight on his own part or by somebody else at the city, but that it requires correction. He said it may require work by attorneys or other professionals.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said the commissioners are willing to give the city of Hillsboro time to assess the status of its TIF district, and to get back to them before they make any decisions.

He said all taxing entities, including the county and school district, must approve the TIF, which would reimburse the city for property-tax benefits granted to businesses within it. Dallke said the problem for the county is to make sure things are done fairly so the rest of the county isn?t being asked to pay for something that only benefits one entity.

Peabody also has begun a TIF program for renovating its downtown area.

Commissioners Bob Hein and Dan Holub both noted that nobody on the commission is trying to be anti-Hillsboro, but they have to consider that other cities in the county have the right to ask for the same benefits, thus potentially spreading a load on county residents without interest in TIF.

They said they are particularly concerned for school districts losing tax dollars over the 20-year lifetime of the proposed TIF.

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