Davenport TIF Support Letter Questions Not Answered

Davenport TIF Support Letter Questions Not Answered

Iowa code 403.5 provides for affected taxing entities to be notified and allowed an opportunity to comment on creation and changes to economic development areas and on the adoption of tax increment financing (TIF).

The Scott County Board recently responded to Davenport’s proposed amendment to the North Economic Development Area and to allow adoption of a TIF  to provide economic development assistance to a company.

I felt that information was not included as to the payback period for 17 million investment.  What does data tell us the value of property such as this after 15 years is, once the rebate of taxes to the company ends?  Does the contract include clawbacks if the jobs promised do not materialize?  What is the true anticipated cost of construction, and will the assessment to base the increment on be a minimum amount or market value?  I asked if the improvements to the infrastructure would be assessed to the land owner, and would other land owners be assessed  for the improvements.  I asked if we had employment numbers on other facilities the company operates and if promised jobs in those locations we delivered on.

Finally, I asked about the rail service agreement that the County is a partner (Scott County, Davenport, Eldridge and the Greater Davenport Redevelopment Corporation GDRC), and which the County has committed $600,000 towards.  That agreement states, “The parties also agree to collaborate in implementing method(s) by which to recoup a portion or all of the initial construction cost and ongoing maintenance cost from the future users of the rail line.  These may include contributions from the three jurisdictions and the GDRC, and/or payments by current and future landowners, businesses and rail users”.  I asked if any agreement would include fees for user of the rail.

These answers may have been available to the decision makers, but were unanswered for me, and for that reason, I could not be among the majority of our Board that supported for the district expansion and TIF.

You can hear the discussion at the Committee of the Whole (COW) from January 10, 2017 at this link player below, or download it yourself: Scott_County_Iowa_COW_Jan10.2017_Sterilite_Davenport_TIF_Letter_Discussion.mp3.

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