The City of Jacksonville is working ahead to extend a program aimed at redeveloping a portion of the city.
The City Council gave unanimous approval to a resolution for a legal services agreement appointing Taylor Law Offices for Tax Increment Funding projects. The city’s TIF district encompasses the downtown area and was given a ten-year window in 2016. Jacksonville City Attorney Dan Beard says the appointment of the legal firm will help expedite the process of extending the city’s TIF district.
“The TIF that we currently have in operation downtown expires in 2026 and we would like to go through the state legislative process to get that extended for another ten years. To do that we are retaining the services of a firm out of Effingham that kind of specializes in this area to help us draw the ordinances and steer us through the legislative process.”
Mayor Andy Ezard says he and the council members feel it’s necessary to extend the TIF with the West State Street rehabilitation project on the horizon. “I think momentum wise when we do get the ITEP funding finalized, that there’s potential for new retail and things. We’ve seen the impact it has had on a lot of other people who have taken TIF funds, and there is a list of folks who are wanting more of that money for improvements. So I think it’s appropriate we go down this road.”
Beard says time is of the essence if they want to get the extension done this year, as the legislative process for extending the TIF district is very involved. “It’s kind of a time-sensitive process. It’s my understanding the legislature has set a mid-May adjournment date as opposed to the end of May. So we have less time than we normally would have to put the whole package together, get all the sign-offs from the various taxing bodies, and get the package out together and off to Springfield.”
Beard says that currently there are no plans to extend the TIF district, however, there may be areas for possible expansion in the future.