Fort Worth creates Stockyards-North Side tax increment district

By Scott Nishimura

Fort Worth City Council members on Tuesday created a 925-acre Stockyards-North Side tax increment finance district designed to throw off money to pay for infrastructure and promote development.

Council members voted 8-0, with Council member Gyna Bivens absent, to create the 20-year TIF, which will last from 2014 to 2035. TIFs generate money for public infrastructure based on increases in property values over time.

The city staff estimated the TIF will generate $40 million in incremental property tax revenue – at 50 percent contribution by the city and three other taxing entities – to pay for infrastructure connected to mixed-use, public transit-oriented, historic preservation, street, redevelopment and other projects.

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The city has been having extended conversations with the other entities – Tarrant County, Tarrant Regional Water District, and Tarrant County College District – and those will now move to negotiation of participation agreements, Michael Hennig, business and community development coordinator in the city’s Housing and Economic Development Department, said.

The city is participating at 50 percent of its incremental property tax growth, and is asking those entities to contribute the same.

The creation of the TIF was driven by the planned $185 million redevelopment of the Historic Stockyards by a partnership of Majestic Realty and Fort Worth’s Hickman family. The TIF creation and Majestic-Hickman project are expected to spur another $200 million in private investment over 20 years in the district, the staff has estimated.The zone has nearly $172 million in property value today for tax purposes, and is projected to have $828.5 million when the TIF expires, Hennig estimated.

Once the TIF expires, property within the district would add another $9.2 million in additional annual tax revenue for the public entities, Hennig told the City Council’s Housing and Economic Development Committee Tuesday.

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The Stockyards TIF generally would be bounded by 30th Street on the north, Grand Avenue on the south, Clinton Avenue on the west, and Interstate 35W on the east. It would include several major intersections and roads: North Main Street and Northside Drive, North Main and 28th Street, North Main and Exchange Avenue, the 28th Street corridor, and Brennan Avenue.

Infrastructure in the area is old and developers’ interest necessitates improvements, but without increasing tax rates, diverting funds from other projects, or using debt, Hennig said.

Separately, a volunteer, city-appointed task force responsible for overseeing the creation and implementation of design standards in the Historic Stockyards will begin meeting, 3 p.m. Thursday at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, 128 E. Exchange Ave.

The task force’s creation was prompted by stakeholders’ fears that arose after the announcement of the Majestic-Hickman project earlier this year.