NewsNewsChannel 5 Investigates


Committee recommends more oversight for tax incentive program

Posted at 3:53 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 16:53:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A study committee is recommending major changes for how Nashville uses Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

In 2015 NewsChannel 5 Investigates aired a series of reports on TIF which showed how the program diverts property tax money away from the general fund and uses the money to fuel more development in areas deemed "blighted" by the Metro Council.

Areas currently designated as blighted include downtown and the Gulch, both of which are booming.

The Tax Increment Financing Study Committee, chaired by Council Member-at-Large Bob Mendes, has met 11 times over the last six months.

That committee is now recommending policy changes in how the city utilizes TIF, as well as more transparency and accountability in the program.

One of the biggest recommendations is that the Metro Council review whether to keep giving out loans in a TIF district every 7 to 10 years. Currently the council approves a TIF district for 30 years.

Under the recommendation the council would assess if an area should still be deemed "blighted" and measure the benefits and impacts from continuing loans in a district.

Currently only MDHA may amend a plan once it has been approved by the council.

The committee recommended allowing the council the authority to amend plans after they are approved.

All recommendations from the committee must be approved by the Metro Council.

Council Member Bob Mendes will introduce bills later this month.