TIFs drain services

Posted Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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James Clawson wonders where the money is going since the city seems to be in a perpetual budget crunch (See: “In deficit again,” Saturday, Sept. 7).

Here’s where a bunch of it is going, James. The Trinity River Vision (TRV) Tax Increment Financing District (TIF) has spent $56,177,987 on the TRV and budget estimates rise to $320,000,000.

The TIF includes property along West Seventh Street over to University Drive, which gives up 80 percent of the tax revenues that have accrued from increased property values since the TIF was established around 2005.

That means that less tax revenue returns to the city’s general revenue budget. That also means less money to pay police and firefighters.

But remember, James, you voted for it in the 2004 bond election that included $5 million for Henderson Street bridge engineering. No, that didn’t include the $1 billion dollar price tag, but maybe it was implied.

Spending over a billion dollars for less than a billion in return only makes sense to government. As long as city government gives away more and more tax dollars in TIFs and abatements, expect less and less in public services.

— Clyde Picht, Fort Worth

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