Joplin council discusses new TIF district, approves grant funding at Monday’s meeting

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Joplin city leaders want more information before deciding whether or not to establish a new TIF district in town.

Monday night, the council voted for the Finance Department to renegotiate the terms of a proposed tax increment financing (TIF) district with the developer. The proposed Boomtown TIF would be set up past 32nd and Range Line, over by the old convention center.

City leaders are concerned that the only retailer to have committed to the project is a Menards.

But developers say they are in talks with an unnamed restaurant, two theater groups and HyVee grocery chain. They say the goal is to build the area up with not just the Menards, but a movie theater, fuel station, grocery store and additional retail.

City leaders worry that with only the Menards committing, the site won’t build up like expected and the TIF wouldn’t get paid off before the 23-year deadline.

Now, the city and developer will work to come up with a plan that will benefit both parties. The council will vote on the proposal at the September 16th meeting.

Also Monday night, the council approved more than $130,000 in grants to multiple agencies around the area. The goal is to help bring more special events, festivals and celebrations to town.

A portion of the funding comes from the occupational license tax from Joplin hotels and motels.

Seventeen organizations will benefit from the funding. Nine of those will use the money for specific events, while the other eight will go for marketing purposes.

The council also recommended nine people to serve on a citizen’s committee for the one-half cent sales tax election. Nominated members include local attorney Scott Voorhees, former councilman Dan McCreary and former Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland.

Those nominated to the committee will help educate and inform members of the committee about the proposed sales tax.

The tax would be a general sales tax on retail sales within the City of Joplin.

It would fund the closure of the fire and police pension plan then migrate new hires on to the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS).

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