The Norman Transcript

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December 11, 2013

Norman City Council votes 8-1 for job development measure in North Park TIF district

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The TIF works by setting aside a portion of the sales tax and ad valorem tax generated by the new business coming to Norman in the district to pay for the infrastructure to support that business development.

Once the infrastructure and the park are complete and all debts related to the development are paid off, the full tax amounts will revert to the partnering entities that benefit from those taxes.

In the meantime, a portion of the sales taxes still are going straight into the city's general fund — $2.1 million last year alone — and some property taxes are still going to the schools.

Additionally, all of the Public Safety Sales Tax money is paid to that city fund. No PSST money is diverted to the TIF fund.

Prior to establishing the TIF district, public schools and other entities affected by the tax had to agree to have a portion of those future taxes diverted to pay for the development.

Dozens of restaurants and retail stores have filled the area north of Robinson Street along 24th Avenue Northwest. The Embassy Suites Norman Hotel and Conference Center has brought multiple conferences and conventions to the city, and additional hotels being built near the Embassy Suites will expand the conference opportunities available for Norman, stakeholders said.

On the north end of the development, the NEDC purchased land from the UNP developer — the OU Foundation and its subsidiaries — at below-market prices in an effort to provide incentive tools for attracting employers to Norman who meet the criteria of the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Act, according to city staff notes.

The NEDC has received a grant from the Economic Development Authority to help with the cost of the business park development and infrastructure.

“We believe a bid for the infrastructure should be go out by the end of this year,” City Attorney Jeff Bryant said during discussions of the item during the city council study session Tuesday.

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