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Ad valorem split plan receives support

A review committee has indicated support for the idea of splitting new ad valorem revenue among all the taxing entities that receive funds from what will become a Tax Increment Financing District.

But, the decision now becomes: what is the exact proposal that committee members will include in the project plan that is ultimately submitted to the Lawton City Council for action.

The committee, formally titled the Skills Training, Education, Development and Investment Project Plan Review Committee, was appointed to analyze a proposal that would put the mechanism into place to designate 1,428 acres of property in west Lawton and the Airport Industrial Park as Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts. TIF districts provide a funding mechanism to aid industrial development by allowing entities to designate the resulting growth in ad valorem and sales tax revenue toward infrastructure needed for industrial prospects. That funding also can be used for jobs training and incentives.

The issue came to the City of Lawton at the request of Republic Paperboard, a long-time tenant of the west Lawton industrial park that is planning a $94 million modernization, according to review committee members. Republic has asked about designating a TIF district over its 69.85 acres, meaning the growth in ad valorem revenue expected after the property becomes more valuable could be used to off-set some costs. In exchange, the plant guarantees creation of 20 new tech jobs.

The Lawton Constitution

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