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City moves to update Triangle District TIF

By Kevin Elliott


A failed tax increment finance (TIF) proposal related to Birmingham’s Triangle District was resurrected on Monday, February 28, as city commissioners approved updating the plan in hopes of negotiating with Oakland County.


The city established the authority in the Triangle District in 2008, with the intent of one day constructing two parking structures in the district. A development and TIF plan was subsequently crafted and submitted to the county for consideration.


Tax increment financing allows a municipality to capture a portion of the collected property taxes within a specific boundary based on the increase in property value due to development in that area, which would otherwise be collected by the county. In the Triangle District, the intent is to use the TIF to pay debt on the public improvements , in this case parking structures, through increased property values as a result of the improvements and associated developments.


The city had negotiated in 2015 with the county for a TIF in the Triangle District, but negotiations ended without any agreement. City Manager Tom Markus said the plan was recently updated, and it is up to the city commission to decide whether to pursue the issue with the county.


“Essentially, we are being asked to start over with the county at this point,” Markus said. “The concept was that we would have one parking facility to the north and one to the south. This is a project waiting for the right public-private partnership to facilitate it.”


City planner Brooks Cowan said the updated plan includes an increased financial growth report, which had previously been based on 2.5 percent, or inflationary figures. The updated plan establishes six percent annual increases.


Commissioners unanimously approved the plan.

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