Boone County Commission Urges City to Stop TIF Efforts
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Comission recently sent a letter to several Columbia city leaders requesting the city abandon its effort to create a Tax Increment Financing district. The county expressed its opposition to the TIF district and threatened to use "all available options to prevent the TIF from being put in place."
The proposed TIF would allow the district to share property tax receipts. The idea is to use the money for redevelopment of areas, such as infrastructure improvements, affordable housing or other redevelopment projects.
The county claims in its letter that the city's timeline for the TIF is too rushed and does not give residents and stakeholders enough time to consider the issue. It also claims the proposal is vague and calls for public discussion on what the infrastructure needs of the city are and solutions for them.
The county has given city officials until January 31 to stop TIF efforts before it pursues legal action. The county claims it has legal grounds based on whether or not the city is allowed to implement a new TIF project at all. The letter states the county has grounds for legal action because the city has failed to provide required annual reports for its exisisting TIF efforts making it ineligible to implement a new TIF project.
However, city councilman Michael Trapp said Tueday that he thinks the letter was a bit premature and the city plans to continue its efforts with the proposed TIF district. Trapp said he hopes the two parties can continue to work together and focus on what is best for the area.
"I just hope its not a matter of turf and that people are looking out what's best for the overall growth and development of the region," said Trapp. "You have to remember that the city and county and partners, and even if we do disagree sometimes, I hope we can stay friendly and work together."