County expands redevelopment focus near Edinburgh

Bartholomew County is expanding the area in the northwestern corner of the county that can take advantage of redevelopment tools to lure new businesses to the area.

The County Commissioners, along with the county and Edinburgh plan commissions, signed off on a plan yesterday to dramatically increase the size of the tax increment financing district in what is being called the northern gateway to the county.

County Commissioner Carl Lienhoop explains that the previously existing TIF has been about 240 acres, but the new expansion will take that to about 1,200 acres.

The original TIF area, established four years ago, is between U.S. 31 and Interstate 65, along County Road 800N. This expansion adds property to the north and south of that area.

He said that local officials hope more acreage available in the TIF district will increase the chances of development in the area.

The county redevelopment commission can issue bonds to pay for improvements in a TIF district, and then use rising property tax revenues to pay off those bonds.

The down side is that those increasing tax revenues do not go to other taxing units, siphoning off money that would go to schools, the library, townships and county government.

The county redevelopment commission must hold another public hearing on the proposal before it becomes official. The date for that meeting has not yet been set.

Illustration courtesy of Columbus/Bartholomew County Planning Department