Tax-increment financing changes amended, advanced

A bill intended to make certain redevelopment projects easier advanced from general file Aug. 4.

Sen. Mike Groene
Sen. Mike Groene

LB1021, as introduced by North Platte Sen. Mike Groene, would create expedited review of tax-increment financing for redevelopment projects under the state’s Community Development Law if the project:
• involves repair, rehabilitation or replacement of an existing structure in an existing substandard or blighted area;
• is in a county with a population of less than 150,000 or in an area that has been declared extremely blighted;
• involves a structure that is at least 50 years old; and
• does not exceed $250,000 for a single-family structure, $1 million for a multi-family or commercial structure or $10 million for a structure on the National Register of Historic Places.

An Urban Affairs Committee amendment would increase the minimum age of a structure to 60 years and reduce eligibility to counties with a population of less than 100,000. The decision to allow expedited review would rest with the governing body of a municipality.

Groene described the bill as a “micro-TIF” measure and said it would reduce construction costs, make workforce housing more affordable and rejuvenate blighted areas.

“[LB1021] will remove statutory and financial barriers presently in the way of urban renewal in truly blighted and substandard areas,” he said.

Sen. Ben Hansen of Blair supported the bill, which he said would make it more difficult to abuse TIF.

“We’re putting the power back in the people’s hands,” he said.

Following adoption of the committee amendment 40-0, lawmakers advanced LB1021 to select file on a 41-0 vote.

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