A Thief River Falls Property Owner has retained legal counsel in a protest over Tax Increment Financing for an Apartment Complex on South Pennington.
A Public Hearing is scheduled July 3rd on proposed TIF Financing for Rocksbury Apartments, a controversial development, with a neighborhood outcry earlier this year after the Thief River Falls City Council overturned a Planning Commission Recommendation against rezoning to accommodate the apartment building.
Mark Grainger, with the Neil Law Firm, says a proposal to approve Tax Increment Financing is like a “slap in the face” to those in the neighborhood who didn’t want the project to go forward in the first place.
Grainger was retained by property owner Karl Bjorkman to uphold a request, urging the City Council to reject Tax Increment Financing on the Apartment Project. In a letter to the City Council, Grainger outlines concerns including public opposition, development outside the City’s Comprehensive Plan, the number of TIF Districts already being supported by tax dollars and the proximity of a nearby conservation project.
If approved, Tax Increment Financing would allow the city, county and school district to reimburse developers money that would have been paid in property taxes to construct infrastructure, generally thought of as below grade.
In a letter dated June 22nd, Grainer outlines Bjorkman’s concerns and urges the City Council to reject TIF Dollars saying it is one thing to build an unpopular project, but quite another to place the cost of that project on “the shoulders of the tax payers.”