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TIF program projects resume in South Walton.

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 8:59 PM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds are hard at work in South Walton again.

“This past year, with COVID-19 we had a break we weren’t doing a lot with our projects as you can imagine. But now we are kind of getting back in the swing with it,” Walton County’s Public Information Manager Louis Svehla said.

So what is TIF funding?

“Basically it is a process to allow ad valorem taxes, or funds collected in a specific area, to be spent in that area,” Svehla said.

In this case, the money is collected from property taxes of residents south of the bay, so that is where the money will be spent. Spent on projects like...

“Each project is a lot of things, they are stormwater-related, we have done a lot of stormwater projects. We have done a lot of recreation projects, they can be used on regular roads, those kinds of things,” Svehla said.

Since 2016, more than $21 million dollars has been used from TIF funds on projects to repair and beautify areas in South Walton.

Commissioner Danny Glidewell says this year, Walton County had a $3 billion dollar increase in property value, which means more tax revenue and more money for TIF projects.

That’s for projects in the future.

Every year, Walton County Commissioners vote on TIF funding as part of their annual budget.

“We have a lot of projects on the agenda for the remainder of this year to go forward. And with their budget process the board said now they are looking at approving another $4 million for projects next year,” Svehla said.

For the remainder of this year, eight projects are slated to be completed:

  • CR 283 North (Bay Drive) Multi-Use Path
  • US Hwy 98 / CR 395 Signal Modifications
  • Western Lake Basin Drainage Improvements Phase III
  • Walton County Sports Complex Phase II
  • Eve Circle Roadway and Drainage Improvements
  • County Road 393 South Multi-Use Path Improvements
  • Little Redfish Lake Bridge Construction
  • Lakewood Drive Pedestrian Improvements

There is also a TIF program within the North Walton District, mainly down Highway 331.

While not a lot has been done there so far, Walton County officials expect it to pick up as the area continues to expand.

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