Thursday, April 24, 2014
The downtown tax increment finance district, which has typically been used to assist private developments, is set to help the Oklahoma City Public Schools district create a new administrative headquarters and a clinic at Emerson High School, and provide a long-needed modernization of the Capitol Hill Library.
Tax increment financing districts are created by the Oklahoma City Council and allow for increases in property taxes, known as increments, to be reinvested back into the area. The downtown district to date has allocated $75.2 million for projects ranging from garages for apartment complexes, landscaping, infrastructure and street improvements.
The downtown district also includes money budgeted for participating taxing entities, including the Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma City Public Schools and Career Tech.
Dave Lopez, outgoing interim schools superintendent, thanked the committee tasked with overseeing the district for previously approving an allocation toward building the John W. Rex Elementary under construction downtown.
Lopez on Wednesday won unanimous approval for $1.5 million, which included about $1 million to assist in renovation of an office building at 615 N Classen Blvd. into the district’s new headquarters and $337,000 toward construction of a medical clinic at Emerson Alternative School, 715 N Walker Ave.
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