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Sylvania City Council approves proposed tax district

The tax increment finance district is not an additional tax. Rather, it takes natural increases and re-directs them to a downtown improvement fund.

SYLVANIA, Ohio — Sylvania City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve a new "tax increment finance" district, or TIF. It will be in effect for the next 30 years and taxes on any future property value increases in the designated area will go to funding projects to improve downtown.

"It truly is a win-win situation," economic planner Glenn Grisdale said.

Grisdale works for Reveille LTD, an economic development agency in Bowling Green that assists cities with economic planning. 

Grisdale said he is often asked by residents if a TIF will raise their taxes.

But a TIF doesn't raise taxes, it outlines how the city can spend increases that would happen with or without a TIF.

"The taxes that they pay normally will not go up," Grisdale said. "They just get re-directed back to them so they can see those improvements directly right in front of their face."

Downtown improvements are something council president Mark Frye said Sylvania is prioritizing in its master plan.

"We're looking at some significant downtown improvements," Frye said. "We're looking forward to capturing some of that revenue, and utilizing that for the betterment of the community in the downtown area."

Sylvania City Schools recently gave their approval as required by Ohio law and Frye believes the school will see the benefits.

"It also helps the general community overall and the school district long term because they get a lot of incremental benefits from investments that are made in the community," Frye said.

The city said it hopes to use some of that money to do things like improve the streets and sidewalks downtown. Grisdale said the TIF will go into effect at the beginning of 2023 and any increase from 2023 property tax levels will go to a downtown improvement fund.

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