Denison city officials approve TIF plan

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DENISON, TX-Over a hundred million dollars of private development is on it's way to Denison, thanks to the boost from a Tax Increment Financing plan.

Monday, Denison city officials voted unanimously for the TIF plan that's been years in the making. Officials believe it will help jumpstart private development in the Highway 75 and 691 corridor and improve the area surrounding Texoma Medical Center..

"Adding $114-million to our tax roll in the next several years is a big boom for Denison. That represents about 10% of our current tax base today so we're really excited about the opportunity," said Denison Mayor Jared Johnson.

Larry Cline, consultant to the owner of the 600-acre property, agreed with the city's decision to use a TIF plan to promote development.

"I think the city and county should be commended for moving forward with something like this. I think it's a really good tool to use," he said.

The TIF could generate up to $12 million over 30 years and Mayor Johnson said the developer would receive a portion of that incremental tax income provided the projects are constructed as the city requires.

"Once that new development is out of the ground, it will generate a property tax. A portion of that property tax, which in this case is 40 percent, will go back to the developer to recoup some of the cost associated with this development. While the city and the tax payers will benefit from the other 60 percent," he said.

"That money then will be used to pay for the public infrastructure that's needed, basically roads and utilities plus a lot of landscaping to help beautify the area that will be necessary to allow for the private development," said Cline.

That new development includes a specialized nursing facility, retail shops, homes and a $16 million Hilton Garden Inn hotel and Conference Center that will be built across from TMC.

Denison Chamber of Commerce President, Anna McKinney, said they have been working over five years to get the facility built.

"We really need this type of property in Denison. We have some great existing hotels but we don't have a hotel conference center and that really limits us a lot," she said.

And Johnson said the TIF won't impact citizens' taxes.

"It won't affect them at all. What it enables us to do is pay a portion of increased property taxes for new development, new structures that actually come out of the ground as a result of this infrastructure," he said.

Under the terms of the TIF and related agreements, construction on the hotel will begin next year and finish by January 1, 2015. The nursing facility, retail shops and single family homes are anticipated to completed by 2021, if not sooner.

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