A bill that would change the expedited review of so-called “micro” tax increase funding projects advanced from the general file on March 2.
Under a segment of the state’s Community Development Act, municipalities in Nebraska are able to designate areas as substandard and degraded, allowing them to be redeveloped. The increase in property taxes generated by the improvements is used to pay for funding for TIF projects.
A bill passed by the Legislative Assembly in 2020 created an expedited review process for counties with fewer than 100,000 residents or in areas that have been declared severely degraded. The decision to allow an expedited review process rests with the governing body of a municipality.
LB 1065, which was originally introduced by North Platte Sen. Mike Groene, was taken over by Omaha Sen. Justin Wayne after Groene resigned. The bill would make the following changes to the current expedited review process:
• Increase the maximum duration of the TIF project from 10 years to 15 years;
• Require that existing structures have been within the corporate boundaries of a municipality for at least 60 years; and
• Allow for the redevelopment of vacant land that has been clad and within a city’s corporate boundaries for at least 60 years.
The bill would also increase the upper limits of the assessed value of a property under an expedited redevelopment project from $250,000 to $350,000 for a single-family residential development, from $1 million to $5 million for a multi-family development and $10 million. $15 million for a project involving structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A Urban Affairs Commission The amendment, passed 40-1, would lower the maximum assessment for a multi-family project to $1.5 million and eliminate the proposed cap increase for structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The amendment would also clarify that a municipality could declare part of an area to be substandard and degraded following appropriate analysis.
Wayne said several communities using micro-TIF were concerned that declaring entire areas as substandard and degraded would cause them to run up against existing caps in state law.
He said developers in North Platte, for example, would like to use micro-TIF, but the city was reluctant to declare substandard areas and feared it would lead them to reach the maximum percentage of land that could receive the designation. . under current state law.
North Platte Senator Mike Jacobson supported the bill. Jacobson, who served as chairman of the city’s Community Redevelopment Authority for more than 20 years before being named to the Legislative Assembly in February, said the micro-TIF can be an important affordable housing tool for small communities.
“We have housing issues across the state; it’s a huge headwind for economic development,” Jacobson said.
Senators advanced LB 1065 to select the file on a 40-0 vote.
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