May 2, 2022
An unnamed Fortune 500 company is currently seeking prospective locations for its new factory build. Oklahoma Governor, Kevin Stitt, signed House Bill 4455 into law this past Monday morning. The Bill grants a tax rebate to incentivize the Fortune 500 company to build a new factory in the state. To further attract this company, Mayes County Officials will also vote on a TIF district proposal this week. A TIF district would attract the company’s attention to Mayes County, specifically, as a new possible location for the factory build. This district will allow the company to receive rebates on the ad valorem tax for the land they are eyeing to acquire.
What is a TIF district?
A Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district refers to a part of a county that retains a portion the property tax paid by the companies in the district. The retained taxes are used to improve the district’s infrastructure. An example of a TIF district is the Oklahoma Health Center Tax Increment District in Oklahoma City.
What are the Chances of the TIF District Being Created?
Ever since the proposal of HB 4555 was signed, the debate over the TIF district has continued. The Chief Administrative Officer of the MidAmerica Industrial Park, David Stewart, considers the taxes the county will receive to be worth creating the TIF district. Matt Swift, the County Commissioner, has misgivings. He believes they will need all tax dollars to keep up with the increase in population that the new jobs will generate. He also believes the company will come to Mayes County without the incentive of a TIF district.
Swift is in the minority, as the rest of the county commissioners agree with David Stewart. This agreement means that the commissioners are likely to agree on making the district official this week. The full impact of the TIF district can only be speculated upon, but let’s hope that Stewart is right about the positive impact to the county residents and economy.