SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Tax increment financing was first introduced in California back in 1952 and has been used as an economic development tool in Iowa for decades to fund urban renewal.
A major talking point at Sioux City’s legislative forum last week was the tax increment financing better known as TIF and the numerous benefits it’s brought to the area in regards to economic development, such as helping the city secure a deal with Cold-Link Logistics for a 180,000 square foot cold storage facility in Southridge Business Park.
“Tax increment financing, targeted jobs, that all came together. It was just perfect how the stars aligned and made all of this possible,” said Sioux City Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Moore.
City leaders thanked local lawmakers for not altering the program over the years and District 6 state representative Jacob Bossman says TIF should stick around, if only because it’s one of the few tools available to rural communities attempting to bring developers to the area.
“I think it’s something that works really well when done properly. We have a situation just like with a lot of programs, state and federal, where some people are misusing it, everybody gets kind of squeezed because of that, but in this area, it’s always been used very responsibly,” said Bossman.
Critics of TIF said that some of the larger metro areas have abused its power but Bossman said he and his peers can use Sioux City as a positive example, noting that Siouxland can be forgotten about from time to time during conversations at the state capitol.
“To be able to go to Des Moines when people are talking about making changes to TIF and say ‘Well, actually Sioux City was able to use this and wouldn’t have gotten this project without that.’ Or the Targeted Jobs program and give concrete examples of really how that worked and how that’s benefitting Sioux City,” said Bossman.
Changes to TIF, if any are to happen, likely won’t take place until the state budget is approved, which is usually the legislature’s final item on the agenda.