Paducah city leaders maintain their position that TIF, or tax increment financing, districts, are not for big retail projects in Paducah. This, after city leaders proposed turning the Riverfront Development Project into a TIF district.
A TIF district would allow a developer to recoup costs by taxing revenue from the completed project.
As for why city leaders are considering a TIF district for the Riverfront Development Project, leaders say the keyword is '"blighted." They tell me a TIF district in this area would be used to help develop the underdeveloped area, improve city infrastructure, and help move the project forward.
When asked about how the project was different from one proposed by Sansone Group, a retail developer that wanted to build on a site near the mall, City Manager Jeff Pederson says he did not want to comment on Sansone, but the Riverfront Development Project Authority was interested in redeveloping an area of downtown, not the mall.
Pederson said a TIF district could be the answer, but the city's still investigating if the Riverfront Development Project would be a viable TIF district.
This is what PRDA Director, Steve Doolittle said about TIF: "There's nothing magical about TIF. It doesn't create free money, but what is it is an incredibly powerful financing tool."
City commissioners Sandra Wilson and Allan Rhodes echoed the same sentiment: that the area of downtown needs to be redeveloped, especially because that area is so visible to visitors and there's a new quilt show and a new hotel on the way.
For the Paducah Riverfront Development Project to become a TIF district, the city commission would have to approve it.