COLUMBIA — The first two projects to come before the City Council requesting tax-increment financing assistance were unanimously approved early Tuesday morning after lengthy public comment and discussion by the council.
The vote means that developers of the projects — an $8.9 million conversion of The Tiger into a boutique hotel and a $17.1 million mixed-use building at Tenth and Locust streets — will be able to use some of the increased taxes their developments generate to defray the cost of the projects.
The council's approval came despite opposition from members of the public who spoke at the meeting. Some complained that TIF assistance is unfair because it gives some developers an advantage, while others worried about the impact on Columbia Public Schools and other entities that rely heavily on property tax.
Superintendent Chris Belcher spoke during the public comment to “reiterate opposition” to the two projects.
“Twenty-three years is a long time to wait for the revenue generated by these projects,” Belcher said.
Council members, however, said that the deferral of property taxes on the improvements wouldn’t harm the school district in the immediate future and that it would only help the district in the long run.
Others worried that approval of tax-increment financing would lead the way to a significant increase in redevelopments funded in part by the incentive.
City Council approves TIF assistance for 2 downtown projects
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