Wheat Ridge Urban Renewal Authority, known as Renewal Wheat Ridge, and the West Metro Fire Protection District have signed an agreement to equally share revenue from Tax Increment Financing (TIF) projects.
“Our Board recognizes that new development in Wheat Ridge creates an opportunity to increase financial support for one of the fire districts serving our community,” said Tim Rogers, chair of Renewal Wheat Ridge.
“We realize that this agreement will affect our revenues, but we feel it is important to support the work of West Metro Fire Rescue by increasing available resources to ensure quality fire protection and emergency medical services to our community.”
TIF is a unique mechanism that enables an Urban Renewal Authority to use the net new property tax revenues generated by redevelopment projects, within a designated urban renewal area, to help finance future public improvements. TIF is not an additional tax but an increase in property tax revenue that would not otherwise be available except in the case of these projects.
“With any new development in urban renewal areas where TIF is used, 50 percent of the increased property tax revenue will now flow back to West Metro Fire Rescue helping to ensure our residents, businesses and visitors have emergency services,” said Patrick Goff, city manager of Wheat Ridge.
When a redevelopment project is being planned, the Urban Renewal Authority analyzes how much additional property and/or sales taxes may be generated once it is completed. That “tax increment” can then be used by the urban renewal entity either to finance the issuance of bonds or to reimburse developers for a portion of their project costs. In either case, the increased tax revenue that is created must be used for improvements that have a public benefit and that support the redevelopment effort, such as site clearance, streets, utilities, parks, the removal of hazardous materials or conditions, or site acquisition.
Renewal Wheat Ridge (RWR) was created by the Wheat Ridge City Council and granted authority under the Urban Renewal Law. RWR consists of a volunteer board of directors that includes one member of the City Council. The board’s role is to fulfill the wishes of the City Council as defined by five Urban Renewal plans approved by Council. RWR uses TIF, which are property and sales tax revenues generated by each individual redevelopment project to construct public infrastructure improvements.
West Metro Fire Rescue serves nearly 280,000 residents in the cities and towns of Lakewood, Morrison, Golden, Wheat Ridge and Edgewater.