Note: This is a copy of a Nov. 14 e-mail from Oak Ridge City Council member Trina Baughn to Anderson County Commissioners and Mayor Terry Frank.
Honorable Mayor Frank and County Commissioners:
Like you and all of our citizens, I recognize the need for the successful redevelopment of the Oak Ridge Mall property. My research, to include discussions with various city officials and partners from their past projects, has me convinced that if anyone can help us finally turn the mall around, it is Crosland Southeast.
The generation of added sales tax revenue from new retail is our highest priority in this venture. Not only do we desire more shopping options, but the financial health of our community is highly dependent upon new sources of revenue.
No one can guarantee that the anticipated sales tax will materialize nor is it realistic to expect such an assurance. However, there is one guarantee contained within this plan. Once demolition has begun, the terms of the tax increment financing (TIF) will be permanently secured, regardless of whether or not anything is built. The end result will lock in a 20-year freeze on the property tax collected by the city and the county. [Read more...]