TIF, that magical three-letter acronym which has played such a critical role in helping transform downtown New Castle, is now being used as a tool to expand the county’s industrial park.

Henry County Commissioners put the final stamp of approval last week on a move that places approximately 143 acres at the corner of Road 300S and Ind. 3 in a “tax increment financing” allocation area. 

New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corp. President Corey Murphy explained the move makes it possible for infrastructure needs 

A tax increment financing (TIF) district essentially reallocates funds from property taxes to encourage investment within the district. Murphy said the funds would make it possible for water, sewer, drainage and road construction improvements in the area. That, in turn, would make the property attractive for new business prospects.

Last Wednesday’s Commissioner approval was the fifth and final step in a process to place the land in a TIF allocation area. The process included approvals from the Henry County Redevelopment Commission and the Henry County Planning Commission.

Impact of TIF can be seen at the 1400 Plaza in downtown New Castle, where a once blighted area now is becoming a multi-use venue, including parking, a stage for events, a new area for the Farmers’ Market, a decorative water fountain and new public restroom.

All of it – like all of the future improvements at what is being called the “Hyssadar Allocation Area,” which was rezoned last April from rural residential to light industrial – comes without a general tax increase.

Murphy said the site was the only land in the EDC’s inventory known to be for sale at a firm price.
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