TIF 201; Perry responds to "Realistic River Development"

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Last week I wrote a primer on tax increment financing (TIF) districts. My column in this week's issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly is the advanced course: TIF districts as applied to Jenks' proposed billion-dollar River District development and a Branson Landing-type development on Tulsa's west bank. You can read all about the speed with which Jenks officials have moved forward with its latest TIF district, the complaints from the Jenks school district, how the City of Jenks has designed the River District TIF plan to put the financial risk on the developer, the lengthy process for TIF review established by Mayor Taylor's administration, and how the City Council can bypass it, if they choose.

Also in this issue, Tulsa County Commissioner Fred Perry responds to my October 25-31 column outlining a way to move forward on river development following the defeat of the Perry-endorsed county sales tax increase, and praising the Tulsa City Council for taking the first steps in that direction. Perry objects to my final paragraph:

There is a positive, constructive path for making our river happen without raising taxes. Here's hoping the Mayor and County Commissioners follow the City Council down that path.

Perry's op-ed begins:

In a recent edition of the Urban Tulsa Weekly, after the Tulsa City Council passed a resolution supporting river development, (OpEd writer) Michael Bates stated that the County Commission and Tulsa Mayor should follow the lead of the City Council as it relates to working to put a similar high quality development in Tulsa. ( ) This is amusing when one knows the facts.

I've responded to Perry in detail in my column in the issue that will be out on Thursday, but I did post a comment to his op-ed noting that he seems to have overlooked a key point:

There's plenty to rebut here, but I'll just point out Commissioner Perry missed a key phrase in the column about which he complains. I said (emphasis added), "There is a positive, constructive path for making our river happen WITHOUT RAISING TAXES. Here's hoping the Mayor and County Commissioners follow the City Council down that path." With its resolution, the City Council moved publicly in that direction. I haven't seen any public action on the river by the County Commission since the election, much less anything that would suggest they are proceeding with engineering on the dams or getting a handle on their Vision 2025 finances, as I suggested in my column. Regarding the surplus Vision 2025 funds, Commissioner Perry might want to check back in with his bond adviser for some updated numbers.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 12, 2007 11:10 PM.

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