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Oxford signs on to Tax Increment Financing bond (TIF) agreement

The Oxford Board of Aldermen adopted a resolution of intent to enter into an interlocal agreement with Lafayette County for participation in a Tax Increment Financing bond, commonly known as a TIF, with local developers in Oxford Commons.

Construction in Oxford Commons is being stalled by the city’s ruling that only a certain amount of Certificate of Occupancy permits can be issued until improvements are made to the Highway 7 and Sisk Avenue exit.

Developers will pay for the improvements out-of-pocket. Once new construction in an 80-acre area around Oxford Commons is built, and enough sales and ad valorem taxes are collected from those new properties to cover a bond payment, the city will sell the bonds and repay the developers. The city will then repay the bond from the taxes collected from the businesses and properties built after the road improvements. No taxes from the existing tax pool will go toward the bond payment.

The preliminary plans call for three roundabouts — two at each exit off Highway 7 and Sisk Avenue and one further east on Sisk Avenue, as well as a traffic signal at Oxford Commons Boulevard.

Mayor Robyn Tannehill said due to a decrease in federal and state money for road projects, TIF financing is a “creative solution” for the city to be able to provide infrastructure improvements.

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved entering into the interlocal agreement with the city for the project on Monday; however, the county will only be repaying the bond with ad valorem taxes collected on future construction since the county does not collect sales tax.