The effects of poorly designed tax capture laws on county services was the topic of the second day of a special MLive series on tax increment financing, with MAC staffers making the case for obvious and immediate reforms.
Commenting on a longstanding problem with downtown development authorities created decades ago, MAC’s Deena Bosworth said, “If something was created in 1980, we’re getting as much revenue from that property as we did in 1980.”
MLive’s Emily Lawler also reported on the effects on special millages:
“Little known to voters is that the capture can also come out of special millages.
“For example, voters might approve a special millage for senior citizen services at the county level. If the county includes a tax capture district, that district is entitled to capture a portion of that millage – something that’s not included in the ballot language. As a result, some voters may not know that when they voted to increase senior services, they were also voting to give part of that increase to a DDA.”
For example, in Bay County alone over the last decade, about $4.5 million in special millage funds have been diverted via tax capture. These funds would have gone to programs for everything from veterans and seniors to insect control and roads.
Keep your eye on www.mlive.com and the blog all week for additional coverage of this issue.