City delays efforts on new tax district

By TERRY GROOVER
tgroover@theyukonreview.com

Efforts to implement a second tax incremental financing district in Yukon may wait until after construction begins on the Interstate 40-Frisco Road interchange, officials said this week.
The city has been working with a tax attorney to prepare what is known as a TIF District for an area of property on either side of Frisco Road between State Highway 66 and Vandament Avenue.
A portion of that area already is included in an existing TIF that was created several years ago.
That TIF includes property south of I-40 as well as a small section of land on the north side of the roadway to the east of Frisco Road.
Two pieces of property south of Vandament, which was realigned earlier this year, as well as property on either side of Frisco south of the new Vandament intersection, are included in the proposed second TIF.
That includes property that was going to be used for a sports complex.
Paperwork to create the second district has been underway for more than a year in preparation for the construction of the interchange, which is expected to begin in January.
Tuesday, City Manager Jim Crosby said the plan is to wait until work begins before completing the new district.
TIF districts, he said, are valuable because they allow for a portion of sales tax that is collected in the district to be used as an incentive to draw businesses or to provide improvements in the same area.
The current TIF account has more than $653,000 in it. More than $500,000 was used earlier this year for drainage improvements in the same area, Crosby said.
There currently aren’t any businesses in the proposed district, although officials are predicting the area could soon see significant interest as work begins on the interchange.
“We are on the cusp of some things happening in this area. We are quite hopeful,” Crosby said.
In fact, the city manager said there already have been companies that have made contact.
However, he said the best chance to draw businesses into the area would be with the existing TIF because a funding mechanism already is in place to help with incentives.
“Everybody wants something for free when they come in ask for it, and that is what the TIF will accomplish,” Crosby said.
Those incentives, which must be approved by the city council, could include things like infrastructure improvements, road expansions or possible sales tax rebates.
“I feel like over the next year or so, this is going to be some exciting times,” he said.
The city manager said the Frisco interchange area will be the city’s final chance for economic growth along Interstate 40 because Yukon is surrounded by Oklahoma City.
“This is the last hoorah for us for big development and to recover. The quality of that growth is so important to us. … This council is going to make critical decisions to determine what is going to happen in our community and where we are going to go,” he said.

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