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City Council to Take up Plan to Put Increased Property Tax Values Toward North Tulsa Neighborhoods

Matt Trotter

Tulsa’s city council this week begins the process of officially adopting a plan to levy increased property taxes largely for housing improvements in north Tulsa neighborhoods.

The Peoria-Mohawk Project Plan would establish four tax increment financing, or TIF, districts at the business park of the same name. Officials estimate the increased property tax values they capture will bring in almost $43 million, and they plan to put nearly $35 million toward housing.

City Senior Economist Mike Dickerson said that will fund a variety of housing initiatives to help developers build new affordable homes, help people buy them and help current homeowners fix up existing homes in disrepair.

"Whenever the business park first started, one of the stated goals was to boost the employment at the business park to come from the surrounding neighborhoods. Really, this is our way of tying that in to boost the housing stock and the values and make it more appealing and more livable for everybody involved," Dickerson said at a September meeting of the Tulsa Industrial Authority.

TIF district funding is typically used for public improvements, but about one-third of residential parcels in the area are rated as below average condition.

"Historically, our TIFs have done lots of good things, but they’ve done them sort of in a dispersed way. So, we may have made some park improvements over here, may have helped a little bit with a water line over there, but in the end, you really didn’t see a measurable change," said city Director of Economic Development Jim Coles at a September meeting of the Tulsa Industrial Authority.

The project plan is on Wednesday’s city council agenda for a public hearing and first reading. The second of those and a vote for adoption will come next month.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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