The Brooksville City Council gave the green light for the proposed Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) map for South Brooksville. The map shows the boundaries of the special tax district designed to bring more money to the area in order to restore homes and businesses. Renewed buildings are expected to increase in value, netting additional tax dollars for the community.
Under Florida law, local governments may specify an area as a CRA if it’s determined that there are blight conditions within that area (through a formal process called a Finding of Necessity). For example, substandard structures, insufficient roadways, and lack of affordable housing are some conditions that could lead to establishing a CRA. There are around 220 CRAs in Florida.
The local government appoints five to seven individuals to the Community Redevelopment Agency. The agency administers programs offered within the CRA. They also develop the Community Redevelopment Plan that identifies projects and goals.
A funding mechanism available to a Community Redevelopment Area is Tax Incremental Financing (TIF), whereby the value of real property within the CRA is ‘frozen’ on a specific date. Any tax revenues from property value increasing over this base value goes to the CRA trust fund and are earmarked for redevelopment of the CRA. The government taxing authority receives property tax revenues based on the frozen value if property values have increased. TIF would depend on rising property values, which has been the case in recent years.
Michelle Miller, Planning Administrator for Hernando County, together with Connie Green, President of the Tax Redevelopment Advisory Committee (TRAC) presented a map that was shown to the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on November 29, 2022. The BOCC at that time deferred the decision to the City to determine if the boundaries were acceptable.
The proposed map, now approved by the city council, includes modifications to reduce the number of commercial properties within the boundary so that it does not have a significant impact on the City’s tax base. The original map developed by TRAC extended to 41 and included businesses along that corridor; the approved map only extends as far west as South Mildred Ave, avoiding the commercial district along 41.
Further modification of the new district may happen in the future as details are sorted out.
In addition to increasing tax revenue, creating the South Brooksville CRA will make the area eligible for State grants for which an established CRA is required.
The next steps are to incorporate any revisions into the new proposed map, which then goes back to TRAC for approval on January 23, 2023. After that, a Finding of Necessity will be developed for the creation of the CRA. The matter is expected to appear before the BOCC and the City Council for final approval.