Council committee approves expanding downtown TIF

An Indianapolis City-County Council committee voted unanimously Monday night to expand the downtown tax-increment-financing district with the goal of incentivizing development in two areas: the former General Motors stamping plant property and the Market East District.

Supporters say the proposal, which still needs the approval of the full council, is a way to rejuvenate redevelopment interest at the 102-acre stamping plant site along West Washington Street.

Two previous attempts to transform the site have failed. Deputy Major Angela Smith-Jones previously told IBJ that TIF funds could build sidewalks, streets and pedestrian bridges there.

And in the fledgling Market East area, which has been helped by the construction of the new Cummins Corp. headquarters and apartment buildings including the Artistry development, TIF money could be used to demolish two Marion County Jail buildings, the Downtown Heliport, and a work-release center known as Liberty Hall.

TIF districts capture tax revenue generated by projects inside the district to pay for new infrastructure or other spending that is invested back into the district. It has become a more popular economic development tool since the state instituted property tax caps in 2008.

“These areas are on the edge of market momentum,” Department of Metropolitan Development director Emily Mack previously told IBJ. “But to encourage economic development, expanding the downtown TIF may help remove the obstacles.”

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