By Tim Farley
Yukon’s commercial base will one day head west when businesses take advantage of a proposed expansion to the city’s tax increment financing district.
To view the map of the TIF district, click here.
The tax increment financing (TIF) district would increase from 380 acres to 519 acres of prime commercial real estate. Currently, the TIF involves property primarily south of Interstate 40, but the expansion would include land north of I-40 and east of Frisco Road.
A small strip, about 26 acres, is located south of Frisco Road and State Highway 66.
Yukon’s Economic Development Authority in June recommended the city council approve the TIF expansion. Approval by the council will take time because of legal requirements to redraw the TIF boundaries, City Manager Jim Crosby said. The city council is expected to meet with its lawyers in August to discuss the TIF expansion.
In a memorandum from Development Services Director Mitchell Hort to the YEDA trustees, Hort wrote, “staff believes that working with the property owners will allow these properties to be developed to their maximum economic benefit and provide more of a visual and appealing development.”
The bulk of the property included in the proposed TIF expansion is owed by private developers.
Authority Chairman Ray Wright, a former Yukon mayor, said the expanded TIF would allow the city to eventually provide additional money from the sales tax generated by businesses in that area.
“The TIF would get a certain percentage of the sales tax and the rest would go to the general fund, but it doesn’t increase the sale tax. The TIF is a separate account for use in that area. If all of that goes commercial, the continued sales tax would benefit the TIF and the city.”
Money generated from the TIF would be used for infrastructure needs such as sewer, water and road improvements.
Two percent of the city’s 4-cent sales tax is allocated for the current TIF district, Crosby said.
Wright and Crosby said there is reason to be excited about business expansion with the redrawn TIF district.
“There’s no question about it,” Crosby said. “There is some excitement and buzz going on.”
However, the city manager said the anticipation should be tempered with cautious optimism because of the pending Frisco Road-Interstate 40 interchange project scheduled for the fall of 2019. The project will be built by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
“Nothing will happen until the interchange is started,” Crosby warned. “They (developers and businesses) want to make sure the road is put in and dirt is turned so we probably won’t see anything happen until 2020.”
Bids for the interchange project should be solicited in the fall of 2019.
“Once construction gets started, then you’ll see some excitement going on,” he said.