TIF could facilitate PJ Adams/Antioch corridor without tax raise

TIF panelists

Panelists Eric Davis, Elliott Kampert, Pat Hollarn and Kay Rasmussen mull the benefits of establishing a tax increment financing district to fund the P.J. Adams-Antioch Road corridor.

BRIAN HUGHES/News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 01:00 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The P.J. Adams Parkway-Antioch Road corridor could begin providing traffic congestion relief in less than 10 years — and without raised taxes — if local and county governments support a tax increment financing proposal.

Attendees at a Dec. 2 Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce panel discussion learned that the plan, known as a TIF, could even be in place within a year.

Panelists described the virtues of a TIF, which is funded by establishing a baseline and allocating the difference between the baseline and future tax increases to a specific project.

"A TIF is a tool for financing something that you need for the public good," Okaloosa Economic Development Council Vice President Kay Rasmussen said. "People assume (that) because 'tax' is in the name, it's a new tax, and that is not what it is."

Designated by law

Money raised in the TIF district — which would encompass all of the county north of the Eglin reservation — would by law be only used for the corridor, Crestview city planner Eric Davis said.

"We must tell the public this is not a new tax and it will not get raided by future (county) commissions for other projects," Davis said.

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