The Indy Star wrote an article about home values in Hamilton County. We can clearly see the resentment local government creates.
I am all for home builders to do what they want with their own property within reason to keep our area most quality. I certainly think some of the planning guidelines could be eased. However, there is more behind this story.
A business parcel gets bonds backed by the city or state to buy property, parking, incentives, etc.. while the home-builder PAYS the big fees. We are at a point in Hamilton County where no longer can a business parcel be... "organic."
In the larger cities such as Carmel, Noblesville, Fishers and Westfield, Tax Increment (TIF) allocation areas capture most every new growing business parcel. Our 2017 TIF law in Hamilton County allows the economic development department to capture almost $3 billion in business parcel Net Assessed Value. This is 53% of all the parcels that are normally taxed at 3%. Most of the 47% assessed parcel in Hamilton County not in TIF allocation areas are older business developments dating back before TIF law became so prevalent. More TIF captured dollars means less dollars for city General Funds, thus resulting in statements such as Mayor Fadness, "There is less of an incentive for communities to build homes."
The TIF law has a "But For" it would not happen if not for government. This is NOT the case in Hamilton County. The allocation areas are capturing way too many organic growth parcels and notably, many are apartments. Fact is, Hamilton County would be growing anyway without TIF law. This is not me saying it, but Michael J. Hicks, PhD Director, Center for Business and Economic Research.
What are the TIF laws consequences?
- Influential Mayors place pressure on state law makers to end our tax caps.
- Local cities do not want lower cost single housing but WANT apartments captured. Yet cities regulate higher home cost building materials perhaps as incentive only to capture more tax dollars.
- Empowers local politicians to collect huge campaign donations at the expense of any candidate running on statesmanship.
Less government is always better and maybe it is time for the State to change TIF law in communities that would grow, anyway.