This site if for any information regarding the Halls Lowes project, and the Tax Increment Financing that some
developers want to obtain from Knox County citizens.
I do not own any property in the TIF Area proposed by Mr. Graham. This was mentioned in a Shopper News article
which I have linked on this site, and that was not a true statement made by the author of the article.
I want to provide a little bit
of information about myself. I am an 8th district resident, 1985 graduate of Halls High School, and an almost 30
year member of Beaver Dam Baptist Church. I am not anti-commercial development, but I believe in “smart” commercial
development. I have become an involved citizen in our local politics, and follow issues that affect the residents of Knox
you, Alan Summers
In the article below you will find a list of over 250 citizens that are in Mr. Graham's TIF Area. Read On!
Anybody out there know what a TIF is?
You may have noticed a few articles in the local papers about what people are calling TIFs.
In those articles I looked for a common
language explanation, and did not find one. So, as I researched the subject over the past few months I found out that many
did not have any idea what it really is, or how it works. In talking to many people about it, reading many articles about
it, and following a few local TIF Applications in the works I found many interesting facts about the Lowes development in
Halls, this led me to my current involvement with TIF’s.
If you are reading this you may be 1 of over 250
residential or agricultural zoned property owners included in a potential TIF Area. This area was created by the developer
of the proposed Lowes shopping center at the corner of Quarry Road and Maynardville Highway. The developer is requesting a
5 million dollar, 15-year TIF for the development.
Did that get your attention?
You now may be asking, what is a TIF?
A TIF is "Tax Increment Financing". Basically a developer
uses the increase of the property taxes from the development and the TIF Area properties for a set amount of years
to pay for the amount of a loan or bond that the developer obtains. The developer creates a TIF Area around his development
that includes citizens and/or commercial property. Property re-assessments are scheduled every 4 years, the next scheduled
property tax re-assessment is in 2009. So if your property is in the TIF Area and your property taxes increase at the re-assessment
time, that increase will go to the developer to be used to pay off the loan or bond.
The Industrial Development Board of Knox County (IDB)
oversees the TIFs. They require that a developer submit an application, and then the IDB goes before Knox County Commission
and asks permission to allow the developer to prepare an economic impact plan. After the economic impact plan is done there
is a public hearing scheduled and it is voted on by the full IDB, if it is approved it goes back to the commission for a final
approval or disapproval vote. The only required public notification is by a listing in the Public Notices section of the local
newspaper, and that would not include any property owner names.
The TIF Application for the Lowes/Graham project was
denied at the March 25th IDB Application Review Committee meeting. At the upcoming April 14th IDB meeting
a request by Mr. Graham to postpone final voting until the August 12th IDB meeting was allowed, the August
12th meeting will then be the public hearing portion of the TIF Application process. Of course, how many of you
knew about these meetings, or even that your property was included in the TIF Area? Or, at the least what a TIF is, and how
your property taxes would be used?
This is intended to inform you that as a property
owner you had the right to voice an appeal to having your property included in the TIF Area. This appeal would have been included
in the documents that were reviewed by the IDB review committee, and possibly the County Commission to make their final decision.
However, your appeal will not be heard since adequate notification was never given to any property owners of the public hearings.
goal of this is to inform the citizens that they are included in the TIF Area. In my opinion the process of notifying the citizens that they are involved in a TIF is non-existent.
The IDB has expressed concern about citizen’s properties being included in a TIF Area, that concern as well as others
led to the denial on first vote at the March meeting. If the IDB revises it’s policies such that no property outside
the development’s boundaries can be included in the TIF Area, that will be a great accomplishment for property owner’s
rights. I intend to follow the revisions that the IDB makes to their policy to make sure that citizens have more rights.
following is a list of over 250 property owners included in the Lowes/Graham TIF Application as submitted. (there may be revisions
made before the August meeting):
Hang Thi Duong
Neal (Life Estate)
Basil (Life Estate)
Velva (Life Estate)
Real Estate Inc.
Lowell (Life Estate)
Lowell (Life Estate)
Alleene (Life Estate)
is what you can do if you would like to express your opinion (for or against) about property taxes being used in this manner…
contact the County Commissioners for the 7th district. You will find their contact info below:
603, City County Building
603, City County Building
You can also contact the Development Corporation of Knox County.
You will find their contact info below:
Development Corporation of Knox County
17 Market Square, #201
Knoxville, TN 37902
If you see your name you can email me and I can send specific information on the properties
included in the TIF Area. Some of the names on the list have more than one parcel of property in the TIF Area.
Please take time to let your voice be heard, if you do not, who
will voice it?
Thank you, Alan Summers
I have recently sent new proposed TIF Policy changes to the IDB! (8-14-08)
Click here to see my letter to the IDB.
This was recently presented to the IDB, with great success.
To all Industrial Development Board members,
I want to thank you for all the work that you do. It must be tiring vetting the requests of developers, and overseeing
development in Knox County.
I am presenting to you two proposed revisions to the Tax Increment Financing Policy.
You, as a board, set this policy and have the right, and the responsibility, to make changes to it when needed. And I believe
as a resident of Knox County I have the right to submit changes to local government policies, and to request that these changes
be considered and studied for their merit.
The bold print below is my recommendations for additions to the two following sections of the TIF Policy…
3.3. Economic Impact Plan
a list of tax parcels composing
the plan area, including owners and parcel numbers, from which the incremental tax revenues will be generated. Written
notice is to be given, and signed permission is to be collected from all property owners in the plan area by the applicant.
3.5. Notice and Hearing of IDB. After the Application Review Committee and the Board’s staff and counsel
determine the economic impact plan to be complete, the Board will hold a public hearing related to the proposed plan at a
regular or special meeting. Notice of the public hearing shall be published in
a newspaper of general circulation in Knox County at least two weeks prior to the date of the public hearing, as required
by Section 7-53-312(g) of the Act.
Written notice is to be sent to all property owners in the proposed plan area by the applicant, this notice would
inform them personally of the public hearing. If the IDB determines that the economic impact plan substantially complies
with the Act, it will submit the economic impact plan to Knox County Commission and/or Knoxville City Council for consideration
and approval. The submission shall include a summary of any comments from the
public hearing on the proposed plan.
I feel that as a board that oversees how county property taxes are used, you have
a huge responsibility to the citizens that pay those taxes, the taxes that provide the grant money for the IDB to continue
to function. And I believe that changes are needed to the policy to protect the citizens of Knox County. In this year of our
local, and state budget crisis we all need to be prudent with our tax money, and how it is used. Future impact to our property
tax base needs to be considered very carefully at every TIF Application submitted; especially the non-conforming TIF Applications
that are beginning to come before you.
My main goal is to make sure the citizens are
informed when any portion of their property is being used for purposes other than normal.
you for your time,
Click here to download "OUST RAGSDALE" image file
Look here for an article from the Tennessee Advisory Commission of Intergovernmental Affairs discussing TIF's in Tennessee.
IN THE NEWS! Look here for an article in a current issue of the Shopper News. Look on page B-2.
IDB's hold on TIFs infuriates local developer. Click here for article.
TIF'S IN KNOX COUNTY UPDATE!
At the present time, all activity concerning Tax Increment Financing handled by the IDB is on hold until December
1, 2008. (KCDC can still bring TIF's to commission for approval).
This puts any current TIF applications on hold until that time.
The IDB will take this time to school the new IDB Board members, and the new incoming County Commissioners all about
This "hold time" will also be used to make some much needed revisions and improvements to our TIF Policy.
You can read the current TIF Policy here...
"Blighted" term needs clarification
The IDB needs to revise the definition of "blighted", and stiffen the requirements for what projects qualify for a TIF.
Here is the paragraph from the TIF Policy that explains what qualifies...
TIF Program is primarily for economic development projects that provide improvements to public infrastructure in blighted
and under-utilized areas of Knox County and in other properties designated by Knox County Commission and City Council. Members of Knox County Commission and City Council, as qualified elected representatives,
are the ones not only vested with the final authority to approve TIF transactions and districts, but also are in the best
position to determine the relative priorities of the proposed infrastructure improvements and the related community benefits
from a public policy standpoint. The Board will administer and implement the
TIF Program and its policies and procedures.
The blighted term,
and especially the under-utilized part needs clarification, and stronger language.
Click here to view Mr. Graham's TIF presentation to the Industrial Development Board.
Click here to read an article about Mr. Graham's South Grove development. The following articles will explain why the IDB
is currently not Graham friendly.
South Grove article number two.
South Grove article number three.
South Grove article number four.
South Grove article number 5, even Sam Venable wrote about it!