Preventing legislation in order to save projects under the current TIF system
Museum Plaza, upon completion, will be a 62-story mixed use project that will house a world class modern art museum in downtown Louisville. This project was made possible by the determination of Poe Companies and the McCarthy Strategic Solutions (MSS) team through tax increment financing (TIF).
Since its inception in 2006, TIF has made projects across the commonwealth that were once a vision an actual reality. However, during the 2008 General Assembly some legislators fought to make changes to the current TIF system which would put on-going projects such as Museum Plaza at risk. The proposed changes in House Bill 512 would have abolished the TIF Commission and changed the conditions for certain TIF programs, thus making it very unclear about the future of many projects around the Commonwealth.
Our biggest hurdles on this issue were the sponsors of House Bill 512:
- Representative Harry Moberly, Chairman of House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, the committee to which this bill was assigned and longtime respected member of the House of Representatives.
- Representative Robin Webb, Vice-Chairman of House Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
- Speaker Pro-Tem Larry Clark, member of House Leadership and House Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
These legislators have been critics of the TIF program since it began in 2006, claiming that the Commonwealth wasn’t getting a fair deal when it came to providing these incentives for community projects.
Identifying other developers and building a coalition of support who would also have projects at risk should this law pass was essential in outlining a strategy to defeat House Bill 512. Building this coalition expanded our existing relationships with legislative leaders and was key in our approach.
Realizing our chances of stalling this bill in the House of Representatives were slim, we turned to the Senate for assistance.
Through our relationships with Senate Leadership and Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee members, specifically Senate President David L. Williams, Majority Floor Leader Dan Kelly and Senator Charlie Borders, Chairman of Senate Appropriations and Revenue we effectively managed to have all original provisions of the bill removed, thus killing House Bill 512’s original intent.