The end of a Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, district means an estimated $1 million in additional revenue for Bismarck Public Schools.
The Bismarck City Commission dissolved the TIF district located in downtown Bismarck late last month. City commissioners voted unanimously to end the district in an effort to garner more support for the city's Renaissance Zone program.
TIF districts are economic development tools that divert a portion of property taxes from the city's general fund to special projects within the district.
BPS — which will receive the largest share of tax dollars from the former district properties — will collect an estimated $1 million in 2017. Bismarck Parks and Recreations will collect $354,000, the city will collect $582,000 and the county will collect $478,000, all reaching a total of $2.4 million.
The amount each taxing entity will receive is based on tax mills each contributed to the fund, as well as the value of those mills, said City Administrator Keith Hunke.
Hunke said he is not sure what the effect of eliminating the TIF district will have on the mills levied by each entity but, "it could cause some of them to be able to reduce their mill rate."
Bismarck School Board President Matt Sagsveen says the board will now have to discuss what they would like to do with additional funding with the closure of TIF, which could include lowering the school district levy.
“If we had an extra million dollars, we have many many needs in our district,” Sagsveen said, including the board's latest challenge in finding more space for current elementary school students and a projected 422 elementary students entering the system in the next five years.