I continue to be encouraged by the excitement and investment we’re experiencing in the City of Fort Wayne. We work each day to lead efforts in job and business growth, strong neighborhoods, a vibrant downtown, public safety, reliable and award-winning water and sewer services, world-class parks, and infrastructure improvements.

It’s vital for us to come together as a community with a unified commitment to being the very best.

One of the ways to move Fort Wayne forward in the right direction is through the use of the tax increment financing (TIF) tool. This allows any new property tax revenue generated by increases in assessed value within that area to be used for public infrastructure projects. It’s available for local governments to use to promote economic development and redevelopment. The General Assembly provides the authority for TIF, as well as other economic development tools, such as tax abatements/phase-ins.

TIF is a key tool available for investing in quality of place initiatives, such as Parkview Field and local trails. Economic development professionals are relying more on these quality of place initiatives to help attract and retain a strong workforce.

TIF also helps attract new jobs. A recent study from the Indiana Economic Development Association states that from the time period of 2008-2015, results indicate that a $1 million increase in TIF assessed value leads to 5.3 additional jobs in the pre-recession period or 4.4 additional jobs in the post-recession period.

To be good stewards of TIF, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission, City Plan Commission, and City Council are working together to rescind three TIF districts and create one Riverfront-Columbia TIF district.

The three areas to be rescinded include the Washington Center Coldwater Road district, the Moeller Meyer Road district, and the Baker Street district. The Washington Center Coldwater Road TIF district was set up to fund infrastructure improvements near the I-69 interchange which are now complete, and no increment was collected for any projects in the other two districts.

The proposed Riverfront-Columbia TIF district would support infrastructure development near the Riverfront Fort Wayne and The Landing projects. The district would include areas on the south side of the St. Marys River, bounded roughly by Calhoun and Harrison streets to the east and west, Berry Street to the south and the river to the north.

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer