Ford site to save taxpayers money! (Not)

Word on the street is that the money that the city lost in the Right of Way lawsuit is going to be recovered using tax revenues from the new Ford development! On almost exactly the same day this blog was published city planners rushed a request to the legislature to approve $275 million for the TIF agreement that will pay for the Ford site development.

You can be forgiven if you have no idea what a TIF agreement is or only the vaguest notion. Very few people do understand TIF and they are either very well-to-do developers or city planners. Here's a link that hopefully explains TIF. It's a video and it's describing TIF in Chicago but the major aspects of TIF are the same everywhere; details like periods covered by agreements and definitions of what 'blighted' is, differ.

If you want a video about MN TIF by the State Auditor's office it's here. Just remember this fact: the TIF agreement for the Ford site will last 25 years. NO NEW TAXES will be available to schools, libraries and other tax beneficiaries until that period expires. Enjoy the video's. Warning, the MN video although much shorter may need to be watched while drinking coffee or something stronger!

Bottom line, the amount of money produced by the Ford site via new taxes is expected to be about $275 million and it will NOT be available to Highland Park or adjacent villages until 2045. Until then villagers will be free to pick up increased costs resulting from the development: expanded schools, demolished roads, new light rail(?), etc.

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