The Northeast Iowa Business Network says it still supports the concept of Tax Incremental Financing Districts—"TIFs."
NIBN's Executive Committee, comprised of economic development directors from Howard, Winneshiek, Allamakee, Fayette, Clayton and Delaware counties, says state legislators have a right to be concerned about the way TIF was used to lure large retailer Von Maur from Iowa City to Coralville. But they say TIFs are still a valuable economic development tool, especially for Iowa's smaller towns.
The hearing was scheduled because of concerns of NIBN's Executive Committee, comprised of economic development directors from Howard, Winneshiek, Allamakee, Fayette, Clayton and Delaware counties, also has expressed concern about such use.
Howard County Economic Development Director Jason Passmore, Winneshiek County Development Executive Director Randy Uhl, Allamakee County Economic Director Laura Olson, Fayette County Economic Director Bill Ziegler, Clayton County Economic Director Darla Kelchen and Delaware County Economic Director Donna Boss have issued a statement which supports TIF as a critical tool for economic development. The statement says:
"Without TIF, the following Northeast Iowa projects likely would not have occurred:
1. Decorah's Vennehjem Premier Lifestyle Community housing project; or the 154-acre business park that relied on TIF to provide infrastructure in a geographically-challenged area
2. Waukon's renewal of a blighted downtown area that resulted in construction of a badly-needed new motel; the development of the Waukon Industrial Park; city financing of a new medical facility now leased to Gundersen Clinic; and the Waukon Wellness Center, which includes a satellite facility for Northeast Iowa Community College. The Center now serves more than 1,000 paid members and 50,000 visits per year.
3. Monona's Arts Way Scientific. After a fire, TIF was used as part of an incentive package to retain 30-plus jobs. Instead of relocating to Wisconsin, the company rebuilt in Monona and expanded into West Union."