We Inform, You Decide

DUNCANVILLE, TX – A Town Hall meeting has been scheduled for this Thursday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the D.L. Hopkins Jr. Senior Activity Center to discuss a proposed Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District for the Camp Wisdom Road / North Duncanville Road / N. Main Street area. The meeting will include a presentation discussing the purpose and structure of a TIF, including examples of TIF projects in other communities.
So just what is a Tax Increment Financing (TIF)? A little history background, this type of financing originated In California in the early 1950’s. TIF was not established in Texas until 1981. In Texas the TIF is governed by Chapter 331 of Texas Tax Code. A TIF is used to finance public improvements in a specific area. It is used to stimulate new private investments. Chapter 331 of the Texas Tax code states that no more than 30% of existing property of the designated zone at the time of creation may be used for residential. A TIF usually captures only taxes on real property, meaning land and buildings. At this time Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Arlington, just to name of few, use this Tax Increment Financing for several projects. One project that the City of Dallas is using this instrument is in the Dallas Farmers Market area. Any increase in AD Valorem Tax revenue is to be paid into a special TIF Fund that is used to help finance public projects in the area that was designated for the TIF program. TIF’s are managed by City Council, who is advised by a Board of Directors. The board is appointed by the City council, but the City Council has final approval.
There are four proposed TIF Projects in the Duncanville area. The project areas are Camp Wisdom Area (Cockrell Hill to Main), Bridge Improvements and Walking Trails I-20 Corridor (Cockrell Hill to Duncanville Road), North Duncanville Road (Camp Wisdom To Red Bird Lane) and North Main Street (Camp Wisdom to Red Bird Lane). The four projects total $8,754,700. There is one additional project identified Camp Wisdom (Cockrell Hill to Main) which has another $11,500,000. The different projects include items such as Property Redevelopment Fund, landscaping, street lighting, sidewalks, driveways, streets, and monument entrance signs, just to name a few. The proposed TIF for Duncanville has a 20 year span.
On November 1, 2016, the Duncanville City Council will vote on a resolution concerning the TIF proposal for Duncanville. The resolution will include that the city of Duncanville wants to continue looking into the TIF proposal, the amount that the city of Duncanville will contribute, and that this resolution does not establish the TIF. Kevin Hugman, City Manager of Duncanville, wants the citizens of Duncanville to understand, “The TIF does not force anybody to do anything; a TIF is another tool to help create economic development in an area.” If the council does approve the resolution up for a vote on November 1st, there are still many steps that will need to be completed. First the city of Duncanville would have to have a preliminary meeting with Dallas County to see if they would be willing to even participate in the TIF and what the county’s contribution would be. Then the council would have to complete a project plan, finance plan and draft an ordinance creating the TIF. There would be a public hearing held, and after the public hearing a vote could be taken by Duncanville City Council. A formal request for participation from Dallas County would then be presented.
Before the November 1st meeting I have included some questions that you might want to consider.

Has there been an assessment or projection of how much money will be raised with the TIF and the time frame to collect the money?
How was the TIF area selected?
Will any tax abatement be utilized with the TIF project?
Will the voters be allowed to vote on the proposed TIF? If not, why?
Some information obtained was provided by Jessica James, Director of Economic Development (City of Duncanville) and Larry Cline, Larry Cline Consulting, LLC.