West Columbia revitalization – with TIF – needs Lex 2 School District’s support

Triangle City area

A large swath of West Columbia is primed for revitalization, but city officials need the support of the Lexington Two School District to implement the plan.

In October, West Columbia City Council approved a Tax Increment Financing plan for a section of the city. Included is Triangle City, US 1, Jarvis Klapman Boulevard, Charleston Highway and 12th Street. In all, it’s 290 acres and 428 parcels of property.

For the TIF plan to move forward, it has to be approved by the Lexington District Two School Board, and Lexington County Council.

“There is no reason for the school board not to approve it,” said West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton. “The school district has nothing to lose. There will be no loss of revenue to the district if the TIF is approved by the school board.”

Annually, Lexington Two receives $673,000 in tax revenues from the properties in the area in the TIF plan.
Horton said that with improvements to the property in the TIF, over time, the school district will receive higher revenue because of increased values.
“It’s a win-win situation for the schools,” said Horton.

While more money is the rule with TIF property, if the school board does not approve it, there could be a decrease in school revenue.

“If the property is left like it is, with no improvements, the assessed value of it will go down,” said Horton. “And the amount of taxes the schools get will decrease, too.”

The property included in the TIF is valued at $2.9 million. It has only increased in value at a rate of 1.35 percent a year in the last 10 years.

Meanwhile, property in the State Street TIF, established in 1998, consists of 378 parcels. That property was accessed at just over $1.4 million in 1998. The value of it has grown by 11 percent a year. It is now valued at just over $4.5 million. The value in the State Street TIP has risen by 216 percent. And that does not include the new multi-million dollar Brookland development that is being constructed.

When the city passed a resolution to allow the TIF, it did so with the idea that a TIF would encourage development to all of the properties contained in the area.
It is the most efficient, cost-effective way to rejuvenate, said Horton.

“Through the use of these TIF funds,” Horton said, “we will be able to work to attract more businesses to the area, revitalizing the Triangle City District and lifting surrounding areas by allowing for an increase in revenues to the Lexington Two School District and the city without a burden on the taxpayer.”

The property in the TIF would also be eligible for other tax incentives to help motivate investors to make improvements to enhance structures.

One Comment

  1. BILL MOONEYHAN says:

    This would be a game changer for the city, look at what TIF money did for the Brookland development, it has brought our city more residents, more small and large business moving to our great city, our school board must be apart of this, without their support we will be going backwards, not passing this would cause young to keep moving to lexington and other areas, i can speak for over 30 business owners who will be pushing this along with me. the school board must step up to pass this wonderful TIF funding for the City of West-Columbia

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