It will be a little more difficult- and more costly- for the City of Cayce to fund some economic development-based projects. Lexington County Council voted down Cayce’s request to continue to use Tax Increment Financing that keeps taxpayer money in the municipality.
For the last 20 years, the City of Cayce has used the TIF to develop areas of the city and drastically improve property values – and tax revenue.
Cayce is in need of a new Public Safety building. The city’s current facility is in an area that floods when there is rain. Other projects included for the TIF were a streetscaping project on Knox-Abbott Drive and Cayce’s 12,000 History Park.
After the vote to deny the TIF, Cayce Spokeswoman Ashley Hunter issued the following statement.
The City of Cayce and it’s leadership will continue to lead in fiscally responsible ways taking care of our City and our part of the County. We are disappointed that all TIF requests are not measured by the same standard. The Cayce TIF request was $4.6 million, which is half of the current request that got approved for the Town of Lexington today. Regardless of County Council’s political motives, Cayce City Council is committed to these projects because they are integral to the economic future of the City and our Region. The National Park Service sees the value of the 12,000 Year History Park, one of the TIF projects. It’s a shame that it’s home county doesn’t. We will continue to look for other funding sources and partnerships to ensure it and the other projects come to fruition.”
There was disappointment expressed elsewhere, too.
“What a shame,” Council Chairman Todd Cullum said after the vote to extend the TIF failed. Cullum said TIF opponents put politics before policy.
Cullum pointed out that Cayce had “proven themselves in the past” to make the most of TIF funding. Cayce officials have said property has been improved to a valuation of more than $40 million, with TIF-generated proceeds.
Council members: Ned Tolar; Phil Yarborough; Erin Bergeson-Long; Darrell Hudson; and Scott Whetstone voted down the TIF ordinance.
Cullum, Councilwoman Debbie Summers, and Councilmen Bobby Keisler and Larry Brigman voted in support of it.