TIF bill brought before Legislature

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 2:00 pm | Updated: 10:20 am, Fri Mar 1, 2013.
By Amy Lyon editor@savagepacer.com

Last week, Rep. Pam Myhra (R-Burnsville/Savage) introduced House bill 597, a tax increment financing (TIF) bill to redevelop the mining area located in the southernmost section of the city of Savage.

And on Thursday, Sen. Dan Hall (R-Savage/Burnsville/Lakeville) announced that he will introduce a similar bill (SF 817) in the Senate.

The creation of a TIF district would allow the city of Savage to use the increase (increment) in property taxes collected on the redeveloped real estate to pay for the redevelopment costs related to the Prior Lake Aggregate (PLA) site.

Myhra, Savage City Administrator Barry Stock and former representative Bill Casserly all testified in support of the TIF bill during a joint hearing of the House Tax and Property and Local Tax committees.

“I was honored to have Mr. Stock and Mr. Casserly join me in St. Paul to testify in support of House File 597,” said Myhra. “I’m hopeful we will be able to give the city of Savage the authority, if they so choose, to pursue the creation of a TIF district to cover the infrastructure cost associated with the final development plan for the property.”

At the conclusion of the joint hearing, House File 597 was laid over for possible inclusion in the Tax Omnibus bill.

Stock said that representatives from several other cities attended hearings pushing for similar legislation for their cities.

“The hearing went well,” Stock wrote in a memo to staff. “I believe that our strategy of piggy-backing on what a few other cities did last year is working as planned.”

Last year, several cities including Apple Valley, Woodbury and Maple Grove obtained approval of TIF legislation from the House and Senate, only to have their bills vetoed by Gov. Dayton after they were included in an omnibus bill with several other items.

Approximately 280 acres of the PLA operation are within the city of Savage, just south of Prior Lake High School. The Savage site is nearing the completion of its useful mining life, and Hall said the city’s current development plan for the property includes approximately 500 single-family home lots, 1,000 medium-density residential lots and space for up to 750,000 square feet of commercial/mixed-use development.

“Based on city estimates, the completed project has the potential to add $450 million in market value to the site — generating over $10 million per year in new property taxes,” said Hall. “The anticipated improvement in housing stock and local businesses, coupled with the public payback, make this project look like a winner.”