The Hillsboro TIF district has generated $511,000 to date, representatives from the taxing bodies in the district learned at a meeting on Thursday, Aug. 29, at city hall.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts use property tax funds generated by increased taxes from improvements to invest in further improvements in the district. Present at the meeting were representatives from three taxing bodies: the Hillsboro School District, city of Hillsboro, and Montgomery County.
For the fiscal year that ended on April 30, 2018, the Hillsboro TIF began with a $97,000 balance, took in $192,000 and expended $162,000. Another meeting will occur later this year when the audit reports for the fiscal year that ended on April 30, 2019, are finished. Most of those expenditures go to Bank of Hillsboro–who paid most of the $192,000 generated in the district in FY2018. Last year was year four of a seven-year agreement that rebates 75 percent of their annual payment. Eighteen percent of everything else goes to the school district.
Still, in the first four years, the TIF has helped fund improvements at Page's Heating and Cooling, downtown properties rehabbed by Brian Lee, the Red Rooster, Hubbart Wood, Opera House Brewing, and the former Lynch building where Evi Salon and Blackboard Mercantile are now located.
"The business district projects have been really successful here," TIF consultant Keith Moran of Moran Economic Development said at the meeting.
Applications for TIF funds are available on the city website. Annual reports for every TIF district in the state are on the state comptroller's website.
Currently in Montgomery County, in addition to the one in Hillsboro there are three TIF districts in Litchfield. Another in Hillsboro, used to create the Pinnacle Point residential development at the north end of Glenn Shoal Lake, has expired as has one to create another residential development in Farmersville.
Hillsboro Mayor Brian Sullivan said in the future, he would like to use TIF funds to not only update downtown sidewalks and street lights, but to also replace the infrastructure beneath. Future funds could also be put to use on the Corner Block building south of the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Hillsboro.
"We're working on something, and I'm optimistic," Sullivan said. "The question will be, do we spend the money to save the building or do we spend the money to tear it down? I'd rather save the building."
The mayor also said he anticipates the city forming another TIF district on the former Eagle Zinc site when superfund cleanup work is complete.