Fort Worth opens public discussions on a Stockyards TIF

By Scott Nishimura

Fort Worth will open discussions with stakeholders Thursday on a planned tax increment finance district for the Stockyards that would help pay for infrastructure improvements as major redevelopment moves ahead.

City officials are hosting an open meeting, 1 p.m. Thursday at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame at Stockyards Station, and are looking for feedback on what kinds of projects Stockyards stakeholders want and what the boundaries of the taxing district should be.

Texas tax increment districts, which generate money for structural and infrastructure improvements based on increases in property tax base over a base year, by law can be initiated for up to 20 years’ duration.

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The city has initiated discussions with other taxing entities to determine their interest, which would dictate how much potential incremental taxes the Stockyards TIF could generate, Jay Chapa, the city’s housing and economic development director, said in an interview.

“That’s going to make a big difference,” he said.

The base year would be 2014.

In June, the city staff proposed to establish a TIF for the Stockyards area to encourage new development and redevelopment. The move came at the same time that a partnership of Fort Worth’s Hickman family – the Stockyards’ largest property owner – and Majestic Realty proposed a major redevelopment plan for their property.

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The city staff is recommending that all necessary steps toward the creation of a TIF be completed by December.

The staff in December expects to propose an ordinance to the City Council that creates the district, creates and appoints the required board of directors, designates terms for the district, and establishes a TIF fund.

In January, the staff expects to ask the council to vote on accepting the project and financing plans for the TIF.

The board would consist of five to 15 representatives.

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Fort Worth has 11 TIFs.