Throughout the years, the City has adopted a number of plans including the Stillwater Corridor Redevelopment Plan (2012), the C3 Plan: Comprehensive Plan: 2030 and with input from Stillwater residents, the Core Commercial Districts Master Plan or P.U.M.A. Plan.
Though numerous pieces from the plans have been put in place, the Stillwater (Re)investment Plan is the funding mechanism to move these plans from the planning phase and into the implementation phase.
The idea of growth encouraged by tax increment financing is not a new concept. In the 2005 P.U.M.A Plan, it states "Incentives and development policies are proposed ... Potential incentives include enhanced streetscape and signage ... and financial incentives including revolving loan funds and tax increment financing."
Map of the Stillwater (Re)Investment Project Plan Area and Increment District #3 Boundaries (PDF)
This Plan encourages a cooperative effort from the affected taxing jurisdictions to benefit the community as a whole. Each jurisdiction will continue to receive the ad valorem taxes as currently distributed. However, new ad valorem revenue increases (the “increment”) will be deferred and reinvested in the project area for twenty-five years or until $32.5 million is reached, whichever comes first. The Project Plan provides that each taxing jurisdiction except the City will split 12 percent of the increment increase realized.
The Plan does not create a new tax or a plan to increase property taxes citywide. Property tax rates remain the same for everyone. The only way property taxes within the TIF district go up is if the property values increase, which is the same system we have now. So, this means a net gain of asset for the property owner.
The Plan does not take any current budget money from any entity. It only affects a small portion of new growth revenue those entities might receive in the future.
In fact, the Plan creates $1 million in additional funds for Stillwater Public Schools (SPS). And, long term, it creates a bigger tax base for SPS and Meridian Technology Center to fund education.
From many of the plans adopted by the City, additional provisions have been established. Out of the P.U.M.A. Plan, a Business Improvement District (BID #1) was established in the Downtown area of Stillwater.
The (Re)Investment Plan also calls for the creation of new BIDs for downtown and Campus Corner, to focus on event promotion and marketing.
After a successful 10 years in place, BID #1 expired in August 2017.
Since then, business owners from the BID #1 area have started a movement to re-establish a similar form of financing, and have shown strong support for the TIF.
» "The TIF strikes me as the type of opportunity that can result in creating unique and dynamic ventures in Stillwater... [it] would allow entrepreneurs like me and my peers to bring thoughtfully-local ideas to the TIF area.” ~ J Bryson Baker, owner and founder of EVERYMAN (quote from the June 4 Stillwater City Council public hearing)
The established project area for the TIF is recognized and designated as an area of economic distress.
Designations label the area as an enterprise zone, state opportunity zone and federal opportunity zone.
Limited areas in 24 states have been designated as Federal Opportunity Zones due to the level of economic distress measured by incomes and poverty. Generally, it is a measure of economic health (or lack of) related to jobs, employment, and pay scales in an area.
Opportunity zones were created by The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, and are intended to spur investment in impoverished and economically distressed areas.
This designation represents a current documentation of general economic distress warranting community efforts to nourish economic health, attract new businesses and employers and to create new community economic opportunity that will attract businesses, create jobs and augment the attractions of the community.
To view the zones, go to: http://odoc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=6c9ab2ff71c041b4ad4aa1ed90f1cbb5
Next, click the “Layers” tool.
Zoom into Stillwater using the + button in the upper left corner. Then, scroll down the list of Incentive Map Layers, and click the box with the zone label you're wanting to view.
The TIF established project area also falls within a qualified New Markets Tax Credit Program area.
The NMTC Program incentivizes community development and economic growth through the use of tax credits that attract private investment to distressed communities.
This program is administered through the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
To learn more about the NMTC Program, go to: www.cdfifund.gov/nmtc
To see the NMTC Public Viewer Map, go to: https://www.cims.cdfifund.gov/preparation/?config=config_nmtc.xml
Zoom into Stillwater using the + button in the upper left corner.
If you have specific questions or would like to submit input regarding the Plan, fill out the online form linked below. Your submissions will be directed to a City staff member or City councilor.