Knox Council Establishes Economic Development Area

Knox City Council
Knox City Council

The Knox Industrial Park is now an economic development area. Last night the city council unanimously passed a resolution to that effect. Jason Selmer with accounting firm Umbaugh and Associates says it will allow the city to invest in infrastructure improvements.

“Any new assessed value that is generated after Jan. 1 of 2016, the taxes collected from that new assessed value can be captured and used for capital projects in serving or benefiting that area. So all the assessed value that is there right now and all the taxes generated from that assessed value right now continues to flow through to fund your budget and the county’s budget and the city’s budget. It’s just any new taxes generated from that area will be captured and can be used for projects in that area.”

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver says the TIF will only apply to properties zoned for industrial use.

“The whole idea here is that as it becomes tougher and tougher for the cities and counties to manage their overall budgets, there’s going to be more and more of a look-see at the county economic development income tax fund as the source of revenue for other city and county activities. What we’re trying to do here is have some of the people who are benefiting from the improvements pay for some of the improvements themselves. That’s the concept behind the TIF.”

Weaver adds he already has plans for how the TIF money can be used.

“Some of the projects we’re looking at down the road are water and sewer along Division Road, improvement of the western intersection of Division Road and County Road 300 East. We ultimately want to extend 300 East construction from the lead railroad track in the park down to the intersection of State Road 8. We’re going to need some more rail at some point in time. Those are just some of the projects we have in mind.”

Weaver notes much will depend on how much TIF is actually generated. He says some county economic development income tax funds will still need to be used to complete the projects he’s outlined.