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News Section: Local Government

SWTIF Gets Through First Gate at BOCC

Published Wednesday, June 4, 2014 12:06 am

BRADENTON -- At Tuesday's BOCC meeting, commissioners voted to move forward with an ordinance that they say would bring southwest Manatee County closer to getting the capital needed for necessary redevelopment in the district.


It started September 16, 2013 at a BOCC work session with direction from members asking staff to explore the steps for establishing a Tax Incrementing Financing for Southwest Manatee County (SWTIF).


Staff returned on January 7 to the BOCC with the recipe for a new SWTIF District, which would dissolve existing South County and 14th Street West CRAs. Seeing through the unfinished business of the existing CRAs was the largest concern Tuesday, especially among Commissioners DiSabatino and Gallen.


On May 13, 2014, a work session was held with the board to discuss the establishment of a Southwest County Improvement District to create Tax Increment Revenues that would be used for redevelopment activities in the southwest area of the county.


Ordinance No. 14-28 was established and presented to commissioners at Tuesday's regular meeting for a vote, the first in a series of approvals before a TIF would be put in place.


Both DiSabatino and Gallen were not convinced the unfinished business of the two, soon to be history CRAs would have the wherewithal to finish that business -- and the almost $3 million in their funds -- if under the umbrella of such a large endeavor as the SWTIF.


Discussion about verbiage guaranteeing all remaining funds would be spent within their original districts was not in Ordinance no. 14-28, and seemed to be the only stumbling block to complete approval by commissioners. 


Commissioners Benac and Whitmore guaranteed all would be left in order should the ordinance pass, and said they were only concerned with tying the hands of future SWTIF decisions if addtional verbiage was inserted.  


DiSabatino acquiesced, but Gallen remained concerned. The ordinance was approved 5 to 2 with Gallen and Baugh dissenting.


Gallen said he still needed more assurances in order to be convinced. Baugh did not comment on why she dissented.

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