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As a means to enhance economic growth in local communities, the Michigan State Legislature enacted the Tax Increment Financing Act, Public 450 of 1980, as amended. This act enables a municipality to establish a Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA) consisting of seven local residents appointed by the City Council to undertake public projects aimed at promoting economic development within the TIFA district. For a map of the TIFA district, click here.
The TIFA is responsible for preparing a development and financing plan and implementing the objectives of the plan, which may include but are not limited to sidewalk repair or replacement, street lighting, street improvements, land and building acquisition, property leasing, parking and landscape improvements, and building signage.
The funds appropriated to the Tax Increment Finance Authority are generated through tax increment financing, a public funding method in which the growth in taxable value on property located within the TIFA district is captured and tax revenues from the captured value are used to make improvements within the district. The TIFA Act allows the City of Richmond to capture the annual growth in taxable value measured from the baseline taxable value in 1984, the year the city's TIFA was established.
TIFA funds may be used to assist business owners within its district with improvements and development projects. For instance, TIFA may support a proprietor through assistance with utilities such as water mains and sewer line installation. In some instances, TIFA may purchase land and in turn negotiate with a prospective business owner for the resale of the property.