VALPARAISO | The expected revenue from Valparaiso's tax increment financing districts is going to be more than last year, but city officials are trying not to be too optimistic about the total.
Karl Cender, financial consultant for the city's Redevelopment Commission, told the commission Wednesday an initial calculation showed the revenue as $7.5 million. After adjusting it for refunds from property tax appeals and for a 95 percent collection rate, the figure dropped to about $6.4 million.
That still sounded pretty good when compared to the $4 million the commission received in 2012, when the TIF revenue was hard hit by appeals and a low collection rate. The commission had expected another tough year and budgeted only $3.48 million for 2013.
The fiscal picture brightened when the commission received $3.34 million from the Porter County Auditor's Office for its first half TIF income. The picture was only slightly dimmed when it was learned $240,000 of that would have to be returned because of a mistake by the auditor.
That will be adjusted in the second half tax payment to the commission, which should mean the commission would get close to the $6.4 million calculation, but Cender and the commission's Executive Director Stuart Summers warned members the final amount probably will be less.
The two said a conservative approach would be best because the commission learned at the end of 2012 it would receive $1 million less than was projected because of refunds and other factors. They said it would be better to project 2013 revenue at $5.4 million, barring any other adjustments.
The 2014 revenue projections are not quite as rosy because of the departure of Porter hospital and other refunds. Dan Botich, of Cender and Company, said the overall impact of the Porter property becoming tax exempt when it is turned over to Valparaiso University shouldn't be too great, but the projected revenue is $5.1 million for 2014.