Work on TIF rules is a good idea

Time and time again, members of Vandalia's Tax Increment Financing advisory committee and city council have asked for more guidance as they considered applications for TIF grants and loans. Hopefully, they will be getting that sometime soon.
Mayor Rick Gottman announced at Monday's council meeting that he is forming a committee to study the existing rules and regulations for TIF awards, and to recommend changes for those.
That's a good idea, especially considering discussions on TIF requests at recent council meetings.
At the May 2 meeting, Alderman Andy Lester questioned whether someone asking for TIF assistance should be required to have insurance on the property that they plan to improve.
Also discussed in the past was whether there should be a limit on the number of TIF agreements or amount given to one individual.
These are the types of issues that need to be addressed for the TIF program.
As Lester mentioned at recent meetings, the council is being asked to act on TIF awards from a pool of funds that have been given up by local taxing entities. "We're dishing out tax dollars here. We've got to have some responsibility," Lester said.
He's right – these are not simply dollars in city coffers sitting around waiting to be doled out for any type of project; there have to be some more detailed guidelines for responsibly handing out those monies.
Hopefully, those can be hammered out in the near future.

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