Topeka City Council establishes TIF district

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - After months of discussion, Topeka’s governing body has decided to create a tax increment financing district, or TIF District, in the city’s downtown.

The proposal passed 10-0 at Tuesday’s meeting.

The redevelopment district encompasses what the governing body calls the Dynamic Core, spanning from Topeka Boulevard to SE Adams, and SW 17th St. to the Kansas River.

“This is the blueprint for other parts of the community that desperately need it,” said council member Brendan Jenson, who represents District 6.

TIF Districts allow tax revenue growth to be channeled back into development. Supporters hope it will provide incentives that will bring more business to the downtown area.

The vote followed a lengthy discussion among city council members.

"We're doing something really brave and bold, but at the same time, there are some risks," Dist. 1 council member Karen Hiller said.

Hiller stressed the importance of working together with the Greater Topeka Partnership.

Neil Dobler, District 7 representative, introduced an amendment requiring the city manager to produce an annual report on the status of the TIF, due by the end of each year. The amendment passed 9-1, with Dist. 2 representative Sandra Clear opposed.

The Greater Topeka Partnership introduced the proposal in August.

The downtown TIF required six “yes” votes from the governing body to pass.