CHUBBUCK — The community’s largest tax increment financing district is nearing retirement, and officials have developed a wish list of projects that could be funded with any potential unallocated revenue.
The district is scheduled to close at the end of 2023. Devin Hillam, the city’s planning and economic development director, estimates there could be as much as $1 million in unallocated funding collected from tax year 2022.
Hillam also serves as executive director of Chubbuck Development Authority, which administers the city’s TIF districts.
“It’s pretty preliminary yet,” Hillam said.
Approved projects to be done within the district this year include a New Day Parkway expansion, adding two new streets near the future City Hall, wrapping up work on other streets in the new downtown area and preparing “underutilized” lots purchased by CDA for redevelopment.
Items on the wish list if there are remaining funds include building a skate park, safety improvements to Hawthorne Road from James Avenue to Canal Street, a pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Chubbuck Road and Yellowstone Highway and additional improvements to make the new downtown area feel more intimate, Hillam said.
The TIF district generates about $2 million annually in revenue, much of which will be returned to the general tax rolls after it retires.
When a TIF district is created, property valuations for taxing purposes are generally frozen at pre-development levels for the various taxing entities. Taxes collected on new development are diverted and used to cover new infrastructure and improvements within a designated revenue allocation area. Once the improvements are paid in full, the TIF can be retired and taxable valuation is returned to the general taxing entities.
Chubbuck was among the first communities in the state to test the economic development tool when it created its TIF about 30 years ago. At one time, more than two-thirds of Chubbuck was included in the revenue allocation area in which funds generated by the TIF are allowed to be spent. That percentage has shrunk considerably in more recent years, Hillam said.
Hillam noted a new state law has placed limits on the ability of the taxing entities to recapture all of the taxable valuation once a TIF retires, making it tougher to calculate how much more additional revenue will go to the city that previously went to CDA.
Hillam believes the TIF district has accomplished its goals of providing the community with a better tax base than it would have had otherwise.
“It has served the community very, very well,” Mayor Kevin England added. “The allocation of this that has been used in the city is something we’re going to have to work on replacing.”