Marilyn Duff, DCRA President, former city commissioner and former Mayor of Cushing, has been working over the last two years to move forward with a (TIF) for Downtown. What is a (TIF)? It stands for Tax Increment Funding. (TIF) is a public financing method that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community-improvement projects in many countries, including the United States. Similar or related value capture strategies are used around the world. Through the use of (TIF), municipalities typically divert future property tax revenue increases from a defined area or district toward an economic development project or public improvement project in the community."The first (TIF) was used in California in 1952. By 2004 all 50 American States had authorized the use of (TIF).: The first (TIF) in Canada was used in 2007. As the use of TIFs increases elsewhere, in California, where they were first conceived, in 2011 Governor Jerry Brown enacted legislation which led to elimination of California’s nearly 400 redevelopment agencies that implemented (TIF)s, in response to California's Fiscal 2010 Emergency Proclamation thereby stopping the diversion of property tax revenues from public funding. The RDAs are appealing this decision. (TIF) subsidies are not appropriated directly from a city's budget, but the city incurs loss through foregone tax revenue.
Marilyn's son Robert has written these programs for seven other communities and is involved with this one as well. There is no doubt that downtown Cushing needs something to turn the tide, of what we have seen this last year. Buildings that have collapsed, and have had to be demolished, with more that needs to be cleaned up. the "Cushing Pride" program, not to be confused with the "Summer Pride" athletic program, is a great start to getting our whole community more presentable and visually appealing. But downtown Cushing needs some direct help. RDMGtv being located downtown agrees that there should be a direct plan put in place to help save our downtown district. We need to make it viable and attractive, while preserving the historic value of our city. However there needs to be a plan to do so.
RDMGtv is very interested in what will be presented at the special meeting called for July 12th. We will bring you an update on what plans are discussed, and specifilcally how the (TIF) is to be used in our downtown community. We have heard from both sides on this issue. The (TIF) could be great, paired with a great plan to revitalize our downtown community. However, without a good, solid plan, it could be business as usual in Cushing. shoot first, and aim later. Again we will have to see what is presented, to weigh that decision.