By Per Peterson
The EDA discussed a future Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district in Tracy, as the need for such a district will likely be apparent in the future.
“It’s a popular tool for cities that are wanting people to come in and do some building,” EDA Director Jeff Carpenter said.
Carpenter said the addition of a TIF district — which essentially is a tax abatement — in town has been discussed for a couple of years.
“It’s a great program,” said Carpenter. “It doesn’t hurt the city on taxes — it’s just not going to increase the tax base for a certain amount of years.”
EDA member Tony Peterson said a business must request a TIF declaration and that the EDA cannot arbitrarily set a TIF district.
“They have to come in and request it,” he said. “We have to have a plan as to what’s going to go in there and how it’s going to go in there … and it only runs for a certain period of time.”
There is some urgency to deciding on whether or not to move ahead with TIF districts because of the time it takes between a request and when a TIF district sets in.
“I would say about 60 days is the fastest you could make it happen,” Peterson said. “You can’t just do it …”
EDA Chair Dennis Fultz feels now is the time for the board to get educated on TIF districts, so when the request does come, it is ready to react.
A condemned property on 6th St. was also discussed by the EDA last week. The house is currently uninhabitable; no taxes were paid in either 2018 or 2019, but no money is owed on the house.
A local couple has an interest in taking over ownership of the house and the lot.
“It needs to be torn down,” Carpenter said. “The party is not going to pay the taxes and are willing to relinquish all rights to it.”
The couple, Carpenter said, have been keeping the grounds up and are willing to split whatever the cost is of razing the house with the city, up to $5,000. The house would technically be owned by the city, the lot by the Alfs.
There is a lot behind the house that is home to a two-car garage, but that is a separate lot.
Peterson suggested the couple look into the demolition loan program. Board member Sis Beierman said the board’s first move should be to find out how much it would cost to raze the house.
“Maybe it’s only going to be $7,000, and they would take out a $2,000 loan, as long as they’re saying they would pay $5,000,” she said.
The structure is condemned because the basement walls are collapsed. There are currently three condemned houses in town that need to be torn down.
“We just can’t have blighted property … if the residents aren’t going to take care of it, eventually the city has to step up,” said Carpenter. “I don’t like it … could we use that $5,000 somewhere else? Yes.”