City Council To Consider a “Tax Increment District”

The City Council unanimously approved a resolution on Monday, May 15th to form a committee to investigate and possibly start the process of creating a “tax increment district” in Sapulpa, as a way to reimburse the cost for certain projects happening within the downtown area, mostly those associated with the Downtown Master Plan, according to documentation provided at the City Council meeting.

“The City has received a letter from D.C. Bass Construction proposing the development and construction of public park facilities and alleyway infrastructure improvements in the downtown area … it is prudent at this time establish a ‘tax increment district’ within the City and the assistance provided through such district will be used to reimburse all or a portion of the qualified project costs of extensive public infrastructure required in the development and construction of the  [Master Plan Improvement Project],” the introductory document states.

City Attorney David Widdoes first brought the item up for discussion in the City Council Study Session, before the resolution was brought up for a vote in the regular City Council meeting following. He stressed that this didn’t cause an increase in any kind of taxes.

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“It just takes the tax increase that would normally occur from those improvements being assessed and gives the opportunity to segregate those from the normal pool where they go and bring them back in and reinvest them into that district,” he said when addressing the City Council on Monday evening.

The proposal includes a combination of ad valorem tax revenue and a portion of sales tax revenue within the district.

The passing of the resolution only means that a committee will be formed to investigate the creation of such a district, which will then be brought before the Sapulpa Planning Commission and subsequently the Sapulpa City Council. The committee will have to flesh out certain criteria, such as the boundaries of the proposed district, which projects will benefit from the district, as well as any changes that might arise to the Downtown Master Plan or proposed zoning changes.

Tax Increment Districts are not uncommon for development projects like these, John Weidman from Hilborne & Weidman told the City Council, adding that nearby Tulsa Hills was a  Tax Increment project in a similar fashion, and that downtown Tulsa has had several projects that have been done with TIF money.

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