by Max Brantley
Fayetteville has the misfortune of being one of the few places in the state that got hung with a tax increment finance district — a developers' scheme (abetted by the city government lobby) to steal school tax revenue to subsidize private developers.
The big downtown redevelopment promised from stealing Fayetteville tax millage didn't happen, though a derelict hotel was demolished to give way to a hole in the ground. But the Fayetteville TIF, which covers a big chunk of downtown, keeps stealing school tax revenue. And now the county assessor says the TIF should also be able to steal a portion of a new school property tax increase in Fayetteville to pay for a new high school.
The school district may sue over the loss of $25,000 a year. Another state law supposedly exempted new taxes from being commandeered by old TIF districts.
Bottom line: TIF district didn't create the promised prosperity. Same old story for government handouts.