Tax increment financing has improved Marshalltown

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is an economic development tool allowing public and private partnerships to help pay costs of infrastructure improvements and offer incentive for private investment. This investment leads to additional job creation and retention, new property and sales tax revenue and increased recreational and quality-of-life opportunities.

Marshalltown has a history of utilizing the tool starting in the early 1990s and continues to utilize it in a manner respectful to the law. The city has four urban renewal areas designated as locations for slum and blight remediation and one area for residential development:

• Hy-Vee area — adopted in 1993, no longer in existence

• East side or Industrial Park — adopted in 1993

• South side or Old Highway 30 and Highway 14 – adopted in 1996

• Downtown — adopted in 1998

• Wandering Creek Residential — adopted in 2016

The City of Marshalltown has used TIF as a tool through the years to help pay for necessary infrastructure upgrades, blight remediation and additional industrial, commercial, retail and residential activities.

Here are some examples of what TIF has helped accomplish in our community:

• Hy-Vee Project at the Highway 14 and Center Street intersection – In 1993, the city issued debt in the amount of $515,000 for public infrastructure improvements. TIF was used to make the principal and interest payments on the debt required to provide the land acquisition and infrastructure improvements to allow the project to proceed.

• Southgate Plaza at the Highway 14 and Iowa Avenue intersection — A great deal of infrastructure was installed for Southgate Plaza to occur, both by the developer and by the city. This lead to other commercial projects in the area.

• Marshalltown Central Business District — TIF funded $1 million of streetscape improvements to downtown in the mid-2000’s and repairs and critical upgrades to the Center Street viaduct, as well as parking lot updates. The Downtown Incentive Grant has put more than $400,000 of TIF into projects totaling $10 million in building improvements.

• Menards and Iowa Avenue expansion- the city expanded Iowa Avenue from two to three lanes for the Menards store. The debt on this project was repaid with TIF that was created by the development of the Menards retail store.

• Emerson Processing and Fisher Controls- the city provided a rebate agreement to Emerson Processing and Fisher Controls for the downtown campus, totaling $1.8 million during 10 years. This led to a capital investment of $40 million dollars and a state-of-the-art technical facility that spotlights Marshalltown as a place for doing high-level research and development and international trade. TIF revenues from the project also went to clean up blight in the area and improve water and sewer infrastructure in the surrounding area.

• Midwest Manufacturing — A development agreement provides a rebate of $1.3 million during 20 years, with a guaranteed minimum assessment and a minimum of 40 jobs with a $1.4 million payroll.

• TIG Distributing — TIF is being used as a repayment source on a bond to help complete Rex Ryden Road. The project opens up an additional 40 plus acres for further industrial development while retaining existing employment and retaining a local company for long-term job creation and new property tax revenue.

This is just a snapshot of how tax increment financing has helped our community grow. As we look to the future, TIF will be a vital tool for development and redevelopment. At times, the use of TIF can be turned into a negative. However, as you look at the list above, please ask yourself where would Marshalltown be without tax increment financing.


Jessica Kinser is the Marshalltown City Administrator.


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