In a vote of 25-2, the Indianapolis City-County Council passed an expansion of the downtown tax increment finance district which supporters say will bring help badly needed development to the city and create thousands of jobs.
Proposal 15 had been delayed for months as it got caught up in partisan politics, however it was negotiations between the Mayor’s office and Councilors Vop Osili and Joe Simpson that allowed the measure to move forward.
The proposal expands the TIF to sections of Mass Ave and 16th Street. It was amended to include dollars for micro-loans for small businesses and workforce development and retraining.
The Council amended the plan to require the city to report back on the TIFs’ status every six months.
The primary lone voice in opposition to TIF was Council Vice-President Brian Mahern. He tried to argue the TIF would the city of property tax revenue for police, fire and schools.
However opponents say that lost revenue would be made up via income taxes and the increased value of property adjacent to the TIF.
Mayor Greg Ballard’s office released the following statement on the passage of the TIF.
“I thank the City-County Council for its bipartisan vote, which allows us to move forward with catalytic new projects such as redevelopment of the Mass Ave Fire Station and the 16 Tech corridor that will revitalize our neighborhoods and create and support thousands of jobs.”
Despite the bi-partisan cooperation the Council still faces the daunting task of approving a budget with an estimated $65 million shortfall.