HUBER HEIGHTS — The Huber Heights Board of Education voted to object to the creation of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District during a special meeting last week. The TIF district, as proposed, includes Lexington Place, Quail Ridge, and other areas in the Chambersburg Road, Fishburg Road, and St. Route 202 corridor.
The Board of Education’s primary objection is that revenue from the TIF that currently goes to the Huber Heights City Schools would be subject to negotiation between the city and school district. The board indicated it could support the TIF if the district is made whole and receives 100 percent of “any service payments due for the full term of any authorized TIF.”
Huber Heights City Manager Rob Schommer said the purpose of the TIF was primarily to provide sidewalks and road widening to make the neighborhood safer for traffic and pedestrians.
“There are very real concerns about safety in this corridor, especially for students who are walking,” he said.
The board sees it differently, however.
In a statement released on the district’s website, the board says “the City of Huber Heights wants the TIF to support a new residential development consisting of about 59 acres and 225 new single-family units. The City of Huber Heights also wants to redirect taxes to fund public improvements within and adjoining the district.”
The board is concerned that the redirected revenue would “place a strain on the Board’s ability to provide Huber Heights students with a quality education since the revenue is redirected.”
The board goes on to say they will “honor the taxpayers and constituents of Huber Heights City Schools by using levy proceeds as the voters intended. The Board’s primary concern and ultimate responsibility is Huber Heights students.
“While the city council would be in their legal rights to pass that legislation, that doesn’t make it the right thing to do,” said Board Member Tony Cochran. “It’s an example of government overreach.”
Board Member Mike Miller also expressed concern.
“This is not something that is profitable to both the city and school,” Miller said. “It masquerades as the city trying to help the schools, but really they’re just reaching in their own pockets and trying to reach in ours at the same time.”
“It is all about our students,” said Board Member William Harris. “It’s all about being whole. Being whole includes everything: every piece, every inch, every student in this body, and 100% of what is needed to do this is what we’re asking from them.”
Schommer said the resolution passed in November did nothing but give the city authority to enter into negotiations with the school district.
“There is no proposal for an actual TIF, but we are having conversations about what a possible TIF might look like,” said Schommer. “We hope the process and dialogue between the school district and the city continues.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.