Metro Tax Increment Financing Study Committee releases report

(l-r) Councilman Bob Mendes and Charles Robert Bone

Metro’s Tax Increment Financing Study and Formulating Committee has released its report to the Metro Council. The report includes broad recommendations in three areas: transparency, communication, and education; policy and process; and accountability.

“Tax increment financing (TIF) has been an important economic development tool in Nashville,” said committee Chair and Councilman Bob Mendes. “To be most effective, TIF should be paired with consistent public input and an intense commitment to transparency. The committee’s recommendations should help Nashville find a fair balance as the city continues to grow.”

Committee member Charles Robert Bone who serves as the chair of MDHA’s Board of Commissioners said: “The input we received over the last six months from both the public and from those with direct TIF experience was helpful to the committee and will be invaluable to MDHA as we move forward. It is my hope that the implementation of these recommendations will instill greater public confidence in the utilization of this tool and encourage a more diverse application of TIF.”

“There’s consensus that TIF must include a public benefit,” said Mendes,” whether it is affordable housing or improved infrastructure. I appreciate the committee coming together on these recommendations for improving how Nashville uses TIF.”

The committee will make a presentation about its report to the Metro Council on May 20 at 3 pm in the David Scobey Council Chamber, 2nd floor, of the Historic Metro Courthouse.

On September 19, 2018, Mayor David Briley signed ordinance BL2018-315 creating a Tax Increment Financing Study and Formulating Committee. The goals of the committee were to study how the Metropolitan Government utilizes tax increment financing and to formulate recommendations for its implementation in a more transparent, equitable, effective, and understandable manner.

The committee was asked to look at how tax increment financing is awarded, the strengths and weaknesses of how tax increment financing is currently awarded, whether alternative lawful approaches exist for structuring tax increment financing awards and whether methods for awarding tax increment financing should be revised following the emergence of transitorial redevelopment districts and other developments.

Over the last six months, the committee met 11 times including a public hearing on March 6. The committee heard from affordable housing providers and advocates, Metro, MDHA, developers, attorneys, and lenders who had previous experience with tax increment financing in Nashville. Members of the committee are: Charles Robert Bone, Dr. Paulette Coleman, Brian Kelsey, Talia Lomax O’dneal, Bert Mathews, Councilman Bob Mendes (chair), and Mr. Richard F. Warren.