Tax Increment Financing

Background

The Downtown Hershey Association completed a master plan in January 2015. The plan aims to enhance the beauty of the downtown, attract new businesses, and improve the quality of life for everyone with a walkable, bikeable, safe, welcoming, quaint, and delightful downtown that respects our heritage. Goals and action items of the plan focus on each of the five categories of the Keystone Community five-point strategic framework:  organization; design; asset enhancement; promotion; and clean, safe, and green. As part the asset enhancement, or economic development strategy, the plan recommends the establishment of a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) area as a tool to attract development interest to the core downtown.

About the TIF

Tax Increment Financing is an economic development tool that considers the different between post-development and pre-development taxes generated on a site, and allows that increment to be applied to public improvements in a given area over an established time period. Developers do not get any tax assistance or abatement through the establishment of the TIF; rather, they pay the same amount to the government as if there were no TIF. The Tax Increment Financing Act of 1990 as amended, Act 113, 35 P.S. §6930.1 et seq., permits local industrial development or redevelopment authorities to administer a TIF project in accordance with the affected local taxing bodies.

The Downtown Hershey Association supports the establishment of a TIF as one of the economic development tools that will help to boost private investment in key properties downtown. It is conceived that it will enable the increment funds to be used towards things like sidewalks, structured parking facilities, streetscape improvements, and other investments that will enable increased densities in redevelopments. This type of public private partnership will enable the types of development that we have heard our residents say that they want downtown.

TIF Process

The Derry Township Industrial and Commercial Development Authority (DTICDA) is leading the process to establish the TIF, working in collaboration with developers. The TIF must be approved by the Derry Township Board of Supervisors, Derry Township School District Board, and the Dauphin County Commissioners. A committee has been established that includes members of these entities as well as the DTICDA. The Committee will work through the process of developing a TIF Plan. This plan will then be presented to the taxing bodies and the DTICDA will request that they opt in or opt out of the plan.

The TIF Committee meetings are held at the Derry Township Municipal Complex and are open to the public. The next TIF Committee meeting is scheduled for:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 7:30 AM.
Derry Township Municipal Complex
600 Clearwater Drive, Hershey, PA  17033