Mauk Defends “Green Field” Benefits Of Tax Increment Financing

NEBRASKA CITY – The Nebraska City Area Economic Development Corporation director told Rotarians Wednesday that  “green  field” development is an appropriate use for tax increment financing.

Dan Mauk of the EDC referenced a bill introduced by Sen. Mike Groene  to prohibit TIF for development of vacant land. Mauk  said the state senator’s own district benefited when TIF was used to bring a Walmart Super Center in 2001.

He said Walmart added $20 million of taxable value to Lincoln County and was the catalysts for additional developments that added another $18 million. Mauk said North Platte was competing with a Colorado location for the Walmart facility, so the development would not have happened without TIF.

Mauk: “When you want new economic growth, often the best place to do that is an area that has not yet been developed. And it’s allowable in statute, if a property hasn’t shown development in 40 years,  it’s allowable to be used for redevelopment through tax increment financing.”

Tax increment financing is being used at Nebraska City  for the new Holiday Inn Express & Suites and Prairie Fire housing project. Mauk said those projects are proposed on land that meets the traditional criteria for TIF.

Mauk: “That would be an example of a blighted property that is being re-done. That mall is unoccupied, not likely to become occupied without significant investment. That’s a good example of using TIF in a blighted area.”

He said the city has recently added “a green field”  area near the new CHI St. Mary’s Hospital to its blighted and substandard map to open Arbor Village for TIF.

Mauk said the area may qualify as “vacant land” under Groene’s bill.

However, he said, the land is ready for development, but development is not foreseen in the future without the use of tax increment financing.

UN-L Eductor Rex Nelson joined Mauk to educate Rotarians on the details of TIF.

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