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Editorial: MicroTIF was born here in North Platte; it should be tested here

Editorial: MicroTIF was born here in North Platte; it should be tested here

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Today’s Telegraph discusses Nebraska’s new “microTIF” law — the brainchild of North Platte’s own state Sen. Mike Groene — and our research on how many owners of our city’s older homes could pursue it right away.

Only two things need happen to get started.

First, the City Council must pass a resolution so property owners in “substandard and blighted” areas can seek microTIF’s property tax refunds for fixing up homes (or apartment or business buildings) at least 60 years old.

Second, one or more eligible homeowners — we have 338 of them already in current TIF-eligible areas — must give it a try.

We hope they will.

This is a North Platte idea, conceived by one of our own and given its opportunity by a unanimous 49-0 vote of the Legislature.

As we said when Groene’s Legislative Bill 1021 passed, you don’t see many 49-0 Unicameral votes. Every senator saw enough promise in this to give it a shot.

Yes, it’s untried. It’s possible, even probable, that trying microTIF will reveal glitches we’ll need the Legislature to fix.

But it could make as great a difference in lifting up our vast numbers of aging homes as North Platte residents allow it to make.

Will we?

And if it works, can more of North Platte’s 4,723 owners of “60-plus” homes come to terms with those three little words — “substandard and blighted” — that have so bothered so many about “regular” TIF?

If not, Groene’s innovative idea won’t go far.

Our Nebraska neighbors are watching. They, too, have a lot of older homes. If North Platte can make microTIF work, they might try it.

We urge the City Council to pass the necessary resolution. We don’t know what will happen next. But microTIF seems worth the experiment. If you choose.

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