Historically, tax-increment financing, or TIF, has been one of the more controversial topics under the jurisdiction of the Urban Affairs Committee. Under Nebraska’s community development statutes, municipalities can utilize TIF for the redevelopment of properties that have been deemed “substandard and blighted”. As applied, TIF allows the municipality to issue bonds to pay the costs of a redevelopment project, with the increased property tax revenues from the redevelopment area dedicated to paying off the bonds. After fifteen years (or earlier if the bonds are paid off sooner), the increased property tax revenues revert to the city’s general fund and to other political subdivisions which have a property tax levy on property within the redevelopment area.
This past fall, TIF was also the subject of one of the committee’s major interim studies, LR 599.
This week, the Urban Affairs Committee will be hearing three bills dealing with TIF:
- LB 596: Change the Community Development Law and create the Tax-Increment Financing Division of the Auditor of Public Accounts
- LB 238: Change provisions relating to tax-increment financing under the Community Development Law
- LB 445: Authorize audits of redevelopment plans that use tax-increment financing
Last week, four bills from the Urban Affairs Committee were passed on Final Reading and forwarded to Governor Ricketts for his signature. The four bills, all of which passed unanimously, were:
- LB 149: Change provisions relating to election procedures for sanitary and improvement districts
- LB 150: Redefine terms under the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act
- LB 151: Provide for a person designated to accept city or village notices in cases of mortgaged property or trust deed default
- LB 168: Authorize expansion of existing business improvement districts