TIF districts are unseen growth drivers in West Virginia’s cities


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Mayor Frank Mullens says South Charleston’s TIF district could bring in a projected $300 million for public and private developments in the city.
(Gazette-Mail photo by Kenny Kemp)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — They can stretch for miles and often hang around population centers like Charleston, Huntington and Morgantown, but remain unseen — and often unknown — throughout their lifespans, which can last for decades.

What they have helped produce in West Virginia, however, can often be seen as clear as day: renovations to the Charleston Civic Center, new baseball and soccer fields at Putnam County’s Valley Park and, eventually, a site for a new South Charleston shopping center.

Tax-increment financing districts are set up and used by local governments to direct a portion of taxes within the district toward a project also inside its borders, the acceleration of economic development in mind.

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