Special Taxing Districts That Support Tulsa Development Came up Short in FY20

Sep 25, 2020

Special taxing districts the City of Tulsa uses to support new developments brought in 30% less than expected in fiscal year 2020.

Property and sales tax collections for seven tax increment financing, or TIF, districts administered by the Tulsa Industrial Authority were under $1.7 million. Based on projections, officials expected $2.4 million.

Most downtown TIFs contain at least one hotel. City Economic Development Economist Mike Dickerson said a drop in tourism during the coronavirus pandemic hurt them.

"Those properties were actually valued lower than anticipated from the 2019 tax rolls. Some of those were significant enough to actually move the entire district’s expected balance to be much, much lower than our June projection," Dickerson said.

The worst-performing TIF was downtown near ONEOK Field. It brought in $23,374 out of a projected $371,416.

City Chief of Economic Development Kian Kamas said her department, which receives TIF funding, tried to account for any potential shortfall.

"We were more conservative in the amount that we assumed we would essentially bill to TIA given the likelihood that we would face this type of instability," Kamas said.

Another issue was some projects are not on the tax rolls yet.