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Huntsville Finance Director paints positive picture of TIF performance

Published on June 24, 2022

A key tool used to improve infrastructure and development of industrial sites continues to show positive dividends as City leaders look to the future.

An aerial view of Huntsville's western industrial corridor. There is a lot of red dirt and a large building under construction. There is flat farmland in the distance.
An aerial view of Huntsville’s western industrial corridor. Tax increment finance districts, or TIFs, have helped the City lure industry as well as improve public infrastructure.

Finance Director Penny Smith said Huntsville tax increment finance districts, or TIFs, have contributed directly to continued growth and public improvements. TIFs allow municipalities to borrow money for projects within a designated district and then repay bonds using property tax proceeds.

Utilizing TIF proceeds also positively impacts the City’s financial footing, as rating agencies view a successful TIF as a sign of a stable local economy.

“Our TIFs are all outperforming expectations,” Smith said. “They’re fantastic tools the City has used wisely to benefit the citizens through increased commercial and industrial development and public infrastructure, such as schools and roads.”


Since 2000, the City has collected tax revenue from eight TIFs, two of which were paid off and closed ahead of schedule. Set to close in 2024, TIF 3A provided $12 million in capital improvement for eight schools in northwest Huntsville and infrastructure within the North Huntsville Industrial Park, which attracted Toyota Motor Manufacturing and Facebook, now known as Meta, to Huntsville.

TIF 8, in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County, is the latest TIF measure approved by the City Council. City leaders are actively recruiting a new tenant to the City’s booming western industrial corridor.

“The bottom line on TIFs is simple – they’ve provided $65 million in funds for Huntsville City Schools and over $60 million roads and infrastructure improvement,” Smith said. “They’ve also provided quality-of-life projects, created jobs and attracted new citizens and visitors to Huntsville.”

Click here to read Smith’s TIF report as presented at Thursday’s City Council meeting.