Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
Tax increment financing (TIF) is a method of financing the public costs associated with a private development project. Essentially, the property tax increases resulting from development are targeted to repay the public infrastructure investment required by a project.
TIF provides a means of encouraging private investment in deteriorating areas by allowing local governments to use future property tax revenues to finance the current infrastructure costs needed to attract development. Nebraska voters approved TIF in 1978 and the Unicameral passed enabling legislation in 1979. The legislature has revised the TIF statutes numerous times since.
Under Nebraska law, TIF projects may be commercial, residential, industrial, or mixed use. After a project is approved, the locality authorizes the issuance of warrants or TIF bonds to undertake public improvements in the designated area. TIF bonds may be issued in conjunction with revenue bond issues for water, sewer, or parking purposes and are exempt from state and federal income taxes. Land assembled for the project is conveyed to the developer at a “fair value.” The developer proceeds with construction in accordance with an approved plan and the bonds are paid off from the increase in property taxes resulting from the development.