Township working on TIF for Kroger site

Pierce Township trustees held a special meeting Jan. 24, primarily to discuss tax increment financing legislation for the property that could soon be the site of a new Kroger Marketplace.

Pierce Township Administrator David Elmer said the legislation, which is outlined in the Ohio Revised Code, allows the township to utilize the increase in property value that the Kroger Marketplace will bring to the area.

He said an increase in property value creates an increase in taxes, and instead of the taxes going elsewhere in the county, the TIF legislation allows the township to collect some of the money to use for improvements that will benefit the development.

“The taxes generated from (the property) are replaced by what is called a service payment,” Elmer said. “The service payment is about the exact same amount that would be taxes. The finance district channels that into a specific fund.”

He said the money in the fund can be used for a variety of improvements in the township, as long as they benefit the Kroger development in some way.

“The ORC spells out the types of public improvements you can make using TIF money,” Elmer said. “They are used to upgrade or improve public infrastructure.”

He said improving storm water drainage and gas lines are examples.

Elmer said the taxes collected from property prior to Kroger being built are not affected, only the gain in property value because of the development will be collected by the township.

“Seventy-five percent will go into the TIF fund,” Elmer said. “Twenty-five percent continues to go to normal revenue streams, including schools.”

In addition, Elmer explained that the township will discuss additional compensation for schools based upon the legislation.

“Current TIF legislation requires a political jurisdiction to compensate the schools if the TIF is greater than 10 years or 75 percent of property value,” Elmer said.

At the meeting, trustees gave Elmer the OK to notify school districts in the area about the legislation. He said the board will further consider approving the legislation at their February meeting.

When it comes to closing on the property, located at state Route 125 and Amelia-Olive Branch Road, Elmer said officials are getting closer.

“The township has been working with the developer for approximately five years,” Elmer said. “They have agreed to a land purchase but have not closed on the property.”

He said the township is involved in the closing process because a chunk of property within the development area belongs to the township. They are also involved because of zoning regulations.

Elmer said from a zoning perspective, moving forward with the project has been interesting because the land is in both Pierce Township and Amelia village.

“It straddles two jurisdictions with two separate zoning codes,” Elmer said. “It is an interesting and challenging, but exciting approach.”

If built, the Kroger Marketplace, which combines both a grocery store and a home store, would be larger than the Kroger stores in close proximity.

There is a Kroger at Route 125 and Bach Buxton Road and one at Route 125 and Route 132. Elmer said he is not sure if the two stores will remain open if the marketplace is built.