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State auditor releases 2008 TIF report

State Auditor Rebecca Otto released the 2008 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Legislative Report. Tax increment financing is a tool created by the Minnesota Legislature to promote economic development, redevelopment and housing development in areas where it would not otherwise occur.

This fourteenth Annual Legislative Report was compiled from information received from the 443 municipalities and development authorities currently authorized to exercise TIF powers in Minnesota. This report summarizes the data received from approximately 2,048 unaudited TIF reports for the year ended December 31, 2008, and provides a summary of the violations cited in the limited-scope audits concluded by the Office of the State Auditor in 2009.

Highlights from the report include:

Current trends

n A total of more than $10 million in tax increment revenues was returned to county auditors for redistribution as property taxes in calendar year 2008.

n Eighty-seven TIF districts were certified in Minnesota during calendar year 2008, while 115 TIF districts were decertified.

n In 2008, 33 percent of the TIF districts were located in the metro area; 67 percent were located in Greater Minnesota. However, 82 percent of the tax increment generated in 2008 was from districts located within the Metro Area.

n In 2008, 70 percent of the TIF districts in the state were located in third- and fourth-class cities.

Long-term trends

n When examining trends over the five-year period between 2004 and 2008, the number of economic development districts increased, while the number of housing districts declined. Over the same period, redevelopment districts showed no consistent trend.

n The total number of districts certified dropped sharply from 2001 to 2002 and, after a slight increase in 2003, the number of districts certified has continued to decrease.

n Over the 10-year period covering 1998 through 2008, the number of districts certified has declined approximately 42 percent.