FAQs: About the Stillwater (Re)Investment Plan

What does this Plan do?

The Stillwater (Re)Investment Plan (A Stillwater Downtown/Campus Link Project Plan) will create an ad valorem and a sales tax increment district in Stillwater pursuant to the Oklahoma Local Development Act.

  • The Plan does not create a new tax or a plan to increase property taxes citywide. Property tax rates remain the same for everyone. The only way property taxes within the TIF district go up is if the property values increase, which is the same system we have now. So, this means a net gain of asset for the property owner.
  • The Plan does not take any current budget money from any entity. It only affects a small portion of new growth revenue those entities might receive in the future.

In fact, the Plan creates $1 million in additional funds for Stillwater Public Schools (SPS). And, long term, it creates a bigger tax base for SPS and Meridian Technology Center to fund education.

Where are the boundaries of the Plan?

The Project Area consists of the downtown area and those areas linking downtown to the Oklahoma State University campus; more specifically the Project Area is bounded as follows: West Hall of Fame Avenue on the north, South Lowry Street on the east, 15th Street on the south, and South Washington Street on the west.

Who is affected?

Affected taxing jurisdictions include Stillwater Public Schools, Meridian Technology Center, Payne County, Payne County Health Department and the City of Stillwater.

Is this a new tax?

This is not a new tax or a plan to increase property taxes city-wide.  If the redevelopment Plan does not generate new development projects, it can be modified or cancelled by the City Council at any time—without any impact. Nobody loses.

How does it work?

This Plan encourages a cooperative effort from the affected taxing jurisdictions to benefit the community as a whole. Each jurisdiction will continue to receive the ad valorem taxes as currently distributed.  However, new ad valorem revenue increases (the “increment”) will be deferred and reinvested in the project area for twenty five years or until $32.5 million is reached, whichever comes first.  The Project Plan provides that each taxing jurisdiction except the City will split the first 12% of increment increase realized.

Has there been support from local business owners?

From many of the plans adopted by the City, additional provisions have been established. Out of the P.U.M.A. Plan, a Business Improvement District (BID #1) was established in the Downtown area of Stillwater.

The (Re)Investment Plan also calls for the creation of new BIDs for downtown and Campus Corner, to focus on event promotion and marketing.

After a successful 10 years in place, BID #1 expired in August 2017.

Since then, business owners from the BID #1 area have started a movement to re-establish a similar form of financing, and have shown strong support for the TIF.

» "The TIF strikes me as the type of opportunity that can result in creating unique and dynamic ventures in Stillwater... [it] would allow entrepreneurs like me and my peers to bring thoughtfully-local ideas to the TIF area.” ~ J Bryson Baker, owner and founder of EVERYMAN (quote from the June 4 Stillwater City Council public hearing)

Are there any other cities using TIF?

Oklahoma City used a series of tax increment financing reinvestment projects to develop Bricktown and transform its Downtown area. Similar reinvestment projects in Tulsa (Brady District), Broken Arrow (Bass Pro, Rose District) and Jenks (Riverwalk) have significantly redeveloped these areas.  Establishment of a sales tax based increment district (Academy) and sales tax rebate programs (Downtown BID, Bradford Place) have provided a significant return on investment for the City.  The ad valorem revenues generated by these projects went to Stillwater Public Schools, Meridian Technology Center, Payne County, the Payne County Health Department and the City of Stillwater based on millage requirements.

Are projects completed without a TIF?

The City has also made significant investments in infrastructure such as Water 2040 and development agreements within the Southeast Corridor that have facilitated development and enhanced property values. The ad valorem revenues generated by these projects went to Stillwater Public Schools, Meridian Technology Center, Payne County, the Payne County Health Department and the City of Stillwater based on millage requirements.

How is the community as a whole impacted?

In addition to generating much needed funds, reinvestment in our community’s infrastructure will create jobs, hence the need for more workforce development and attendant earning potential.

Is growth limited to the TIF boundary?

Reinvestment areas in Oklahoma City and Tulsa have generated growth on properties outside of their boundaries.

What are the project area's designations?

The established project area for the TIF is recognized and designated as an area of economic distress.

Designations label the area as an enterprise zone, state opportunity zone and federal opportunity zone.

Limited areas in 24 states have been designated as Federal Opportunity Zones due to the level of economic distress measured by incomes and poverty. Generally, it is a measure of economic health (or lack of) related to jobs, employment, and pay scales in an area.

Opportunity zones were created by The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, and are intended to spur investment in impoverished and economically distressed areas.

This designation represents a current documentation of general economic distress warranting community efforts to nourish economic health, attract new businesses and employers and to create new community economic opportunity that will attract businesses, create jobs and augment the attractions of the community.

  • Next, click the “Layers” tool.
  • Zoom into Stillwater using the + button in the upper left corner. Then, scroll down the list of Incentive Map Layers, and click the box with the zone label you're wanting to view.

The TIF established project area also falls within a qualified New Markets Tax Credit Program area.

The NMTC Program incentivizes community development and economic growth through the use of tax credits that attract private investment to distressed communities.

This program is administered through the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

To learn more about the NMTC Program, go to: www.cdfifund.gov/nmtc.