Discussions about TIF districts in Perry County and their value continue and as the Perry County Council looks at the economic-development tool used largely to improve infrastructure for existing and potential business, the benefit has as of late come under scrutiny.
The most recent discussions arose last week when county attorney Chris Goffinet presented an annual TIF funding report to the council. With efforts overseen by the county redevelopment commission and portions of the money recouped from TIF funneling into the nonprofit Perry County Development Corporation coffers, there was much needed explanation about what the money was and is actually being used for.
What was basically a rehashing of several previous meetings about the financing districts, Goffinet explained the county incorporates three separate TIF districts, one encompassing areas surrounding the courthouse, another at Waupaca Foundry and the last at Webb Wheel.
As a result, Goffinet says money retained from the courthouse TIF will be used toward rehab of the former National Guard Armory into offices; the Waupaca zone brought in $1.5 million last year, and such money is being used to pay down bonds established for projects spearheaded by the Development Corporation and the Webb Wheel area is generating about $253,000 in revenue, with about half of that transferring back into the Tell City Troy School Corp.
There has been some public scrutiny of the Development Corporation, an independent nonprofit aimed at promoting economic development, since the group receives about 70 percent of it’s operational budget from an economic-development tax fund.