Wapello County Board of Supervisors discuss proposed Bonita Avenue housing development

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 4:38 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - The Wapello County Board of Supervisors is sending a letter to the City of Ottumwa regarding the creation of a tax increment financing (TIF) district for new workforce housing off of Bonita Avenue.

The board members say they’re generally against TIF districts. The proposed district would provide a 100% property tax rebate for that new housing for 20 years.

While Board Chair Jerry Parker says he’s in favor of new housing, he’s not in favor of a new TIF district. As he explained at the meeting, as taxes continue to go up, one easy way to pay for that is getting property tax from new housing developments and new people coming in. But, he says, “let’s say you don’t do that and you give the money back to the developer. Where does that money come from? Where does it have to come from? Us. The rest of us paying taxes. There’s nowhere else to get those inflationary costs.”

Vice Chair Brian Morgan said while he’s not totally against creating TIF districts, 20 years is too much.

The City Council has not voted on the issue yet. The next step will be holding a public hearing about the proposed development on November 2nd.

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