by Max Brantley
Scott Miller at the NLR Daily News has the map of Mayor Hays' amazing TIF district. It would declare city streets, but no other additional land, as part of a hotel TIF district at Broadway and Maple. The streets will tie it up with two existing TIF districts -- at Main Street and Broadway and covering The Enclave apartments across from Alltel Arena.
The mayor claims he's doing this to make improvements on the streets newly added to the hotel TIF (about five years after the fact of creating an unrealized TIF for The Enclave area.) But he's only doing it so he can, by the most obviously contrived way, make the new district contiguous with existing districts, which the law requires.
He wants to do this so he can steal the property taxes on new construction already completed at The Enclave and the Argenta Place project. This will take $100,00 or so a year in property taxes from the schools and use it to build a parking deck and put in some fancy street lights. It will create no development that benefits the schools, except in the most tangential fashion. The Enclave, arguably and hopefully, creates new demand for the schools with new residents. But it was built solely with private money.
The map says it all about the flim-flammery. Strands of spaghetti connecting meatballs (the three pink-shaded areas are TIF districts) was, I believe, how Miller put it.