Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, is a tool to assist in financing redevelopment projects in designated blighted and substandard areas of the city. The City of Seward issues bonds or a promissory note to finance any approved public improvements associated with a redevelopment project. The property taxes generated from the increased valuation of the development are then captured for a period of up to 15 years to repay the public investment.
The purpose of TIF is to help communities undertake redevelopment activities for urban renewal and municipal growth. TIF allows a city to pay for the public improvements that are part of a private redevelopment project. TIF is not a grant and it is not a primary funding source for a redevelopment project, but does provide an incentive for private development that will increase the tax base of the Seward community and create additional jobs.