Commission approves $750K in TIF funding for JCDA projects

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Washington County Commission approved a proposal for more than $750,000 in tax increment financing (TIF) to fund two Johnson City Development Authority (JCDA) projects downtown.

Those projects include capital improvements and roofing replacements at the John Sevier Center and a security camera system at the Downtown Centre. In total, the JCDA sought $751,382 in TIF funding, with $715,383 allocated to the John Sevier projects.

JCDA could get more than $750K for John Sevier repairs

The funding had been recommended for approval by the county’s Commercial, Industrial and Agricultural (CIA) committee in January.

JCDA Executive Director Tish Oldham was present at the commission’s Monday meeting and spoke after a motion to approve the TIF funding was seconded. She thanked the CIA committee and Washington County Attorney Allyson Wilkinson for their assistance in the process and invited commissioners to visit the John Sevier Center so she could show them the improvements.

“There have been a great deal of improvements over the past two years and that’s why we’re here this evening,” Oldham said. “And I do feel like we’re in a better shape as far as life safety, conditions and just overall investment in this building.”

The JCDA request to approve the TIF funds states the previously completed projects have “substantially improved the safety and condition” of the John Sevier Center for its residents. The JCDA purchased the center in 2019 in hopes of creating new housing for its residents and eventually allowing the building to be used for other purposes.

The resolution passed with 12 commissioners voting in favor of it and three being absent.

TIF funds are not pulled from an existing county budget or funds. Instead, they are used with the intent to improve a community and then paid off by future tax revenues. TIF projects totaling more than $25,000 require approval from the full county commission.

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