Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a local government tool that uses future gains in taxes to finance current public improvements. Improvements that theoretically will create those gains. When a public project such as a road, park, or constructing a sidewalk is carried out, there is often an increase in the value of surrounding real estate, and perhaps new investments (new or rehabilitated buildings, for example).
This increased site value and investment sometimes generates increased tax revenues. The increased tax revenues are the
tax increment. Tax Increment Financing dedicates tax increments within a certain defined district (i.e. the Lynn Haven Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)) to finance debt issued to pay for the project.
TIF is designed to channel funding toward improvements in distressed or underdeveloped areas where development might not otherwise occur. TIF creates funding for public projects that may otherwise be less affordable to localities. Any funds received from a Tax Increment Financing area must be used for specific redevelopment purposes within the targeted area, and not for general government purposes.