Over 56 percent of tax rebates to sports complex developers would come from PV school taxpayers

Of the $14 million in tax rebates earmarked for developers of the bettplex sports complex expansion, more than 56 percent – nearly $8 million – are expected to come from the pocket of Pleasant Valley School District taxpayers.

That's because the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) planned by the City of Bettendorf for the northeast corner of Forest Grove and Middle Roads would allocated 75 percent of the "incremental" taxes from the development back to the developers Doug Kratz and Kevin Koellner over a 20-year period up to a maximum of $14 million.

When the city employs a TIF, all "incremental" property taxes (except those levied for debt service) are rebated back to the developers.

Those aren't just property taxes levied by the city, but by all taxing bodies within the TIF area, including those for the school district and county.

State law allows the city to implement a TIF unilaterally. The school district and county do not have a vote in the matter.

The city has "consulted" in the past with the county and school district before approving such TIF's, and last week Pleasant Valley Superintendent Brian Strusz met with the city's Economic Development Director Jeff Reiter.

Strusz said after the meeting the school district would look at the financial impact from the TIF and the school board would hear a presentation from Reiter at its next meeting, which occurs just one day before the city's public hearing and vote on the Urban Renewal Area expansion and TIF agreement.

For the parcels targeted for the sports complex TIF, just over 56 percent of the tax (after subtracting the district's debt service) is levied by and paid to the Pleasant Valley schools.

The city estimates the assessed value of those parcels covered by the TIF will balloon to $32 million, resulting in rebates to the developers of $14 million over the 20-year life of the TIF.

Using the existing tax levy rates would mean $7.86 million of those TIF rebates would come from taxes levied by the school district.

In other words, without the TIF and development of the property resulting in an increased assessed value of $32 million for the property, the school district would see $655,000 of additional tax revenue a year.

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