Tax Increment Financing

Bettendorf sports complex developers to get more than $7 million in upfront grants and loans; no plans to conduct 'due diligence' review of development

Even though Bettendorf will upfront more than $7 million in cash, grants and land acquisition to developers of a $45-million sports complex, city officials say they do not intend to conduct any detailed financial review of the project or project partners.

Asked via email if the city had in the past, or planned in the future, to conduct any due diligence review of the finances of developers involved in the project, City Administrator Decker Ploehn replied with a one-word answer: "No."

In past Tax Increment Financing (TIF) development deals, city officials have been unconcerned with developer finances because city tax rebates wouldn't occur unless the development was completed at the agreed upon investment by the developer.

If the project was not completed, city officials reasoned in the past, there would be no "incremental tax" to then rebate back to the developers.

However, the development package prepared by city officials and scheduled for a public hearing and approval May 2 by the city council, would provide $1.9 million in cash, a $4.9 million upfront grant, plus $600,000 to buy 10-acres from the developers when the building permits for the sport complex are issued this summer.

Bettendorf betting $11.2 million on sportsplex to kickstart development at I-80 and Middle Road

After secret briefings given Bettendorf aldermen in mid January, the city added $11.2 million in bonds to its proposed budget to pay for roads, sewers, stormwater detention and developer loans and rebates for a sports complex at Forest Grove and Middle Road.

According to documents and emails obtained by Bettendorf.com through a Freedom of Information request, city officials in those non-public sessions discussed with aldermen the impact the sports complex would have on next year's capital improvement plan (CIP), city tax levy and debt margin.

The project was outlined a month later at a news conference Feb. 17 by Mayor Robert Gallagher and developer Douglas Kratz, but aldermen have yet to publicly discuss the sport complex plans or its financial impact on city finances at an open city council meeting.

'Sports complex' allocated millions in proposed city budget; project yet to be publicly discussed

The proposed Bettendorf city budget would allocate more than $15 million to build a "sports complex" that has yet to be discussed publicly by aldermen.

The budget – which will be discussed at an all-day public work session Saturday (2/11) – includes $2 million for purchase of land for the "sports complex," more than $2 million for roads, lighting and sewer extensions for the project, and lists the issuance of $11.2 million in debt (bonds and notes) to finance the facility construction.

Bettendorf poised to approve 20-year TIF, $750,000 forgivable loan to entice Twin Bridges redevelopment

A Des Moines developer would tear down the deteriorated Twin Bridges Motor Inn in downtown Bettendorf and construct two five-story apartment buildings worth a total of $22 million under a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) deal worked out with city officials.

The development agreement would provide Twin Bridges Associates LP, a unit of Newberry Living, with a $750,000 forgivable loan and rebate 100 percent of the incremental property taxes from the 135-unit apartment project for 20 years.

At the current tax rate, the 20-year TIF would be worth approximately $12 million. The property currently is assessed at $799,780 and pays $24,139 annually in property taxes.

[The public hearing on the TIF and forgiveable loan is on the Tuesday, Dec. 6 city council meeting agenda.]

Jumer's Castle Lodge owner seeks 100% tax rebate for 10 years for redevelopment of hotel property

The owner of the vacant and dilapidated Jumer's Castle Lodge in Bettendorf would be given a full rebate of all property taxes for 10 years under a proposed development agreement scheduled for consideration at next week's (July 5) city council meeting.

The agreement and proposed Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) ordinance have been given aldermen for review and the council is expected to set a date for a required public hearing on the redevelopment plan.

City/Isle deal to end tax dispute; city gets $652,000 and schools, county may finally see tax boost

The tax dispute between the city of Bettendorf and the Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. would be resolved under a development agreement deal expected to be approved tonight (11/17) by the city council.

The Isle has been seeking to lower the assessed value of its riverfront property to $45 million from the current $85 million. An appraiser hired by the city valued the Isle's two hotels and riverboat casino at $55 million. The county review board in June rejected the Isle's tax appeal, but the casino operator then filed suit in Scott County District Court.

Emails indicate mayor, city administrator pushed TIF's for downtown apartments for past year

For more than a year, Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher and City Administrator Decker Ploehn have been telling their economic development staff and developers they would support use of city tax incentives for projects involving downtown apartments.

In emails obtained by bettendorf.com through a Freedom of Information request, both Gallagher and Ploehn were focused on redevelopment of eight apartment buildings in the downtown known collectively as the Carling Apartments.

Bettendorf LED light manufacturer two years behind in loan repayment; job training funds frozen

The Florida promoter who convinced local economic development officials he would bring manufacturing jobs from China to Bettendorf hasn't made a payment in nearly two years on the $107,000 loan he received from the Bi-State Revolving Loan Fund, the economic development arm of the Bi-State Regional Commission.

LEDs America made payments totaling $31,000 on the job development loan, but its last check was in September 2013, leaving an unpaid balance of $76,000, according to Bi-State officials.

Isle of Capri seeking to slash Bettendorf property tax bill in half; city to hire appraiser to oppose reduction

The Isle of Capri Bettendorf casino is seeking to slash its property tax assessment in half – to $44 million from its current $85 million – prompting the city to hire a casino real estate appraiser to oppose the reduction.

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