Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Mayor, Council Create Downtown TIF District

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Mayor, Council Create Downtown TIF District

Article excerpt

Topeka's mayor and city council on Tuesday evening unanimously created a tax-increment financing district to encourage development in downtown Topeka and the surrounding area.

The mayor and council voted 10-0 at 7:25 p.m. to establish the Dynamic Core Redevelopment District, which will be bounded generally by S.W. Topeka Boulevard, S.W. 17th Street, S.E. Adams Street and the Kansas River.

The mayor and council created that district after first:

• Voting 10-0 to approve an amendment that enables owners of properties involved to opt out of the district to become able to participate in a neighborhood revitalization program.

• Voting 9-1 to approve an amendment requiring the city manager to present an annual report on the status of the downtown TIF district to the mayor and council.

• Voting 6-4 to reject an amendment that would have required the mayor and council in 15 years to evaluate whether to terminate the district.

Downtown Topeka Inc. had asked the mayor and council to form the district, which had been discussed at two recent meetings. The Greater Topeka Partnership was in support of creating the district.

Tuesday's votes came after officials with the city, the GTP and DTI met last month to discuss the TIF district proposal with representatives of the Board of Education for Topeka Unified School District 501, which had expressed concern about it.

Board members for USD 501 then voted 6-1 on Nov. 21 to support creation of the district, provided the proposal involved is revised to include specific wording the district requests.

The measure approved Tuesday includes that amendment.

It basically ensures USD 501 and Shawnee County "have a seat at the table going forward if and when decisions need to be made about the disposition of monies that might be left over in the TIF fund," Curtis Sneden, senior vice president of government affairs for the GTP, told The Topeka Capital-Journal last month.

The area of the district approved Tuesday consists of about 919 properties, including 241 residences, 368 commercial and industrial properties and 150 that are exempt from property taxes, according to a document posted on the city website answering questions about the Dynamic Core TIF proposal. …

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