According to Chairman R.P. Lilly who gave a presentation about the Local Development Finance Authority at a recent Board of Trustees meeting in Huron Township, the nature of local government frequently involves dealing with funding and taxing mechanisms unfamiliar to the average resident.
“I feel we have an obligation to share information whenever possible.” Lilly said. “Now, many times we use various acronyms … and many times we take for granted that (residents) know what these things are all about and what they do.” But what does LDFA really stand for?
In an attempt to educate residents about the township’s Local Development and FinanceAuthority, Lilly, the authority’s chairman, and John Enos, the township’s planning consultant, used the meeting to explain how it works.
The authority’s role is to prepare property so that it is suitable for light and heavy industrial companies to move in.
The land that is incorporated into an LDFA district usually is blighted or undeveloped. The authority oversees cleanup and installation of infrastructure for future use.
As businesses move in, the authority is funded by its ability to “capture” a portion of the taxes on those properties within the district. The amount captured is determined by a formula that sets a base tax line on the amount of real property taxes — the taxes on land and buildings — on the property at the creation of the district.
The township’s original district was created in 1988, with a 20-year life span; the second district was created in 2002.“ At some point, when the LDFA disbands, the captured (tax) dollars will distributed throughout the entire township.”
The township has two LDFA districts — one that encompasses the former Pinnacle Race Course area and the other that runs along Bell Road and I-275.
While the Pinnacle area has been relatively stagnant since the racetrack came in and failed, the Bell Road district has seen considerable growth, with Brose North American Inc. and Inergy Automotive Systems and several other companies moving in. The LDFA of Huron Township continues to strive for attracting companies that have like minded goals to the area.