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Council Asked to Officially Green Light New Downtown Tulsa Special Taxing District

Matt Trotter

Downtown Tulsa’s largest special taxing district may be up and running by November.

The city council has been asked to approve a tax increment finance district spanning from Denver Avenue east to the Inner Dispersal Loop and from Archer Street south to Eighth Street to be formally established. The TIF is part of a broad economic development plan approved last year.

"You’ve adopted the TIF plan for all of downtown last December, and as we see projects start to percolate within certain areas, we come back and ask you to start the 25-year plot and start the development," said City Director of Economic Development Jim Coles.

Coles said with 210 property owners within the TIF boundaries, there’s a lot of potential there.

"It has lots of existing buildings with lots of opportunities for renovation, and we’re starting to see a collection of people. There was an announcement about the Adams Building this week and a couple other buildings that could use some assistance and also help us generate some of the revenue to do the appropriate public improvements around downtown," Coles said.

As property values in the district increase through renovations or construction over the next 25 years, the new tax revenue goes into a fund for public projects like street repairs or utility improvements rather than to schools, libraries and other entities that typically get property tax funding.

Those entities must agree to a TIF before it's established, and it's expected the public improvements will spur greater development, leading to even higher property values.

Coles said his office sent a flier to all affected property owners in August. The ordinance the city council is considering would make the TIF effective Nov. 3.