City of Bryan Discusses Tax Increment Finance Zones

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When it comes to tax increment refinance zones, or TIFs, the City of Bryan currently uses the state's guidelines.

"Chapter 3-11 of the Texas Code of the Tax Increment Financial Act, that's for lack of a better term, that's the bible," said David Storrie, special projects manager for the City of Bryan.

But the state's "one size fits all" approach sometimes causes problems. That's why Bryan is following the lead of other cities, similar in size, and looking into customizing its own rules for TIFs.

That assignment fell on the shoulders of Storrie who presented his preliminary recommendations to the council Tuesday.

"The whole idea behind criteria is that you evaluate it, you add to it and you take away," said Storrie.

Council was scheduled to vote on the document in Tuesday's regular meeting. After workshop discussions, they decided the document needs more work and they have moved discussions to July.

"That will give us plenty of time to come back with another draft. I fully expect this thing to have six or seven drafts," said Storrie.

With something as financially and politically volatile as TIFs, the city council wants to know what has worked and what hasn't in other cities. To that end, the council directed Storrie to look at similar documents from other cities. They also want Bryan's guidelines to be built with lots of community involvement and Storrie agrees.

"I'd encourage BBC, Bryan Business Council, input from Research Valley Partnership is a good source I also like the banking community," said Storrie.

Storrie says once the document reaches its final stage it will set the tone on the city's philosophy on economic development as it relates to tax breaks.