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TIF district isn’t right for Newton

Published: Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 9:43 a.m. CST

I believe if the reasonable person would read Iowa Code Section 403 Urban Renewal they would come to the conclusion it is for slum and blighted areas and housing for the low to moderate income. The city leaders of Newton read this as for housing for the affluent and want to make a TIF district in one of the highest priced neighborhoods in the city (Fairmeadows North) in which the large majority of people can not afford to live with housing costing well over twice the average selling price in Newton.

I know I’m old and maybe old-fashioned but I always thought that new streets, sewers and utilities were put in by the developer with the city then taking over the maintenance with the tax revenues generated. The leaders of the City of Newton want the government to pay this cost but since the city cannot afford to do this they want to make a TIF district so the majority of this cost will be paid by the school district and the county. No taxing bodies would get any tax dollars from these new houses until all the TIF cost are paid back which can be 10 to 20 years.

Dennis Messick


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