Washington State’s cities, counties, and ports have long been burdened with a disadvantage when undertaking downtown revitalization or economic development projects: they cannot fund projects using tax increment financing (TIF).
But earlier this year, the state enabled Local Revitalization Financing (LRF), a TIF-type funding tool with the power to generate significant funds for local economic development projects. LRF allows local governments to create redevelopment areas where property taxes from a variety of taxing districts are matched with sales tax revenue that normally accrues to the state. The redevelopment areas can issue bonds based on anticipated revenues, which will give numerous cities the potential to raise millions in funds for up front capital improvements.
There are a number of challenges associated with LRF. Local governments must quickly prepare and submit applications to the state—ideally by September 1, 2009. State matching funds are limited and applicants must demonstrate that a variety of conditions have been met in order to receive funds. For example, communities must show that the implementing LRF will attract significant private sector investment that would not otherwise occur.
If you are interested in finding out more about how your community can secure LRF funds, call or email Brian Vanneman at Leland Consulting Group. We’re excited about putting LRF to use and advancing quality urban projects in the Evergreen State!