The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 26, 2012

TIF could entice agriculture-related processing plant to Enid

By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The Enid Board of Commissioners will consider during their Monday meeting a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district meant to entice an agriculture-related processing plant to locate in the city.

Specifics of the company and the size of the proposed plant have not yet been released.

According to the public meeting agenda released by the city Friday, “The Enid Regional Development Alliance (ERDA) has been conversing with a value added agriculture company that is considering constructing a processing plant in Enid.”

The agenda for Monday calls for the commissioners to “declare the intent to consider approval of a project and creation of a tax increment financing district,” which would be “utilized as an incentive to encourage the company to locate in Enid.”

A TIF district establishes an area in which increased ad valorem taxes will be delayed for a specific period of time. The funds would be used to defray the costs of project development. Tax-receiving agencies continue to receive taxes at the current ad valorem rate until expiration of the TIF, at which point ad valorem taxes are paid out based on project improvements.

ERDA executive director Brent Kisling said incentive packages such as the proposed TIF district are essential in drawing new businesses into the city.

“Because of all the growth we’ve had in the Enid area recently we are getting a lot of attention from companies considering us for a place to relocate,” Kisling said. “But, it’s still a consideration. We have to put together a very aggressive relocation package to make sure we’re the location they choose.”

Kisling said the TIF structure allows the city to put together “a very aggressive incentive package” without burdening taxpayers or tax-receiving agencies with any up-front costs.

“The nice thing about a TIF is you aren’t taking away any money from the entities that receive payments from ad valorem taxes,” Kisling said. “Instead, we capture the difference in ad valorem taxes for a time and return that money to the project.”

Kisling said recent TIF districts helped build the AdvancePierre Enterprise facility and Roosevelt Park Apartments.

He said two other TIF districts were approved to build ethanol plants in Enid, but those projects never came to fruition. And, since the projects weren’t built, no TIF money was expended.

“That’s another nice thing about TIFs,” Kisling said, “is if the project doesn’t happen, you don’t expend any funds.”

Another TIF currently under consideration would help fund the “de-malling” of Oakwood Mall. That TIF will be open for public discussion during Monday’s city commission meeting.

Kisling said TIF districts may become a common consideration for the city commissioners in the near future.

“I anticipate, over the next several months, you’ll see several more of these come before the council,” Kisling said, “because there are quite a few companies in the pipeline considering relocating here.”

The Enid Board of Commissioners will meet at 5 p.m. Monday in the lower level conference room of the city administration building at 401 W. Garriott.