By Kristin Rover
Batavia Township Trustees approved resolutions to create four Tax Increment Financing districts in the township during their June 3 meeting.
Each of the districts encompasses a different area of land in the township, as well as a different project that trustees would like to complete for that area if future development occurs there.
Chris Moore, legal council for the township, gave trustees an overview of what a Tax Increment Financing district means for the township.
“It allows the township to ensure that should development occur, infrastructure funding needs will be met,” Moore said.
Moore said the tax on home owners will not be increase because of a TIF district.
He said a percentage of property tax land owners in the TIF district already pay goes into a fund for future infrastructure improvements, rather than going to other entities such as schools, the county, fire departments, and more.
“It’s not that those funds shouldn’t go to those areas,” Moore said. “They are worthy.”
Moore said the TIF ensures that some money stays locally for infrastructure projects in the area.
Moore said money only goes into the TIF fund if development occurs in the district.
He said people who want to develop in the area appreciate TIF districts because they know improvements will be made near that could benefit their development.
Trustee Jim Sauls said they have worked to develop a project for each of the TIF districts that they feel would benefit the area.
“Each TIF would have a project pretty much designated for the money,” Sauls said.
Batavia Township Administrator Rex Parsons presented each of the TIF districts, and each of the projects they are considering for the districts before trustees approved the resolutions.
Parsons reminded trustees that they passed the first TIF district in March.
Parsons said the second TIF district would include 374 acres, or 14 parcels of land near Batavia Road and Half Acre Road.
He said they are looking at extending Batavia Road and possibly creating a spur off of Batavia Road to connect to Route 276.
“That’s what we feel the desire may be,” Parsons said.
Parsons said the third TIF district is south of state Route 32 near Herold Road and includes 201 acres, or 13 parcels of land.
Parsons said they are looking into relocating Harold Road in that area with new connectors to Hospital Drive, state Route 32, and Lakeside Blvd.
Parsons said the fourth TIF district would include 119 acres, or two parcels of land, near state Route 32 and state Route 222.
He said the project for the fourth TIF would be to improve the access point at state Route 32.
“We know that part of that is not going to develop commercially,” Parsons said about the characteristics of the land. “But we must enact the TIF on one parcel.”
Parsons said the fifth TIF includes 341 acres, or 13 parcels of land near Clermont County Airport.
He said the project that would go with the TIF would be to extend College Drive to Clough and Taylor roads, and add spur roads to parcels near the district.
Several residents with land in or near the TIF districts attended the meeting and asked questions about what the district will mean for them.
“Out of 64 acres we own we are going to lose the majority to construction,” Linda Urban, who owns land with her family in Batavia, said about one of the TIF district projects. “My family is concerned about how much land we will lose.”
Parsons agreed that Urban would lose some land if the project is completed. He said that the benefit, however, would be that the property value would increase because of better access to state Route 32.
Other residents had questions about the whether their taxes would go up because of the TIF district.
Moore said that the TIF district would not increase taxes. He said the only reason taxes would increase is if the property value of a home increases because of development in the area.
Parsons said TIF districts are becoming more popular for townships and villages, especially as opposed to tax abatement because projects can be designed for an area, while tax abatement is done for a specific company.
“In this case, trustees can really benefit a region,” Parsons said about TIF district projects.