A tool the City of Dyersville relies on to drive economic development may not be around for much longer, prompting concern from city staff.

The tax increment financing program, often referred to as TIF, might be coming to a close, at least according to some of the rumblings coming from Des Moines.

During a discussion where the council unanimously approved its annual TIF appropriations to local development projects, Mayor Jim Heavens asked City Administrator Mick Michel about the future of the program.

“I think they’re looking at ending TIF,” Michel said of the Iowa legislature.

Michel said Dyersville has always used TIF in an appropriate manner and stressed how valuable a tool it has been for the city.

“Without TIF, you wouldn’t have a lot of these projects — if any, at all,” Michel said. “As you can see, tax increment financing is a very important economic development tool. Without it, I think Iowa could see some decrease in new business activity as a result.”

Evidence of TIF’s success can be seen in Dyersville’s downtown, industrial park and commercial properties, Michel said.

Previously, the Iowa legislature has voiced concerns about TIF being abused, which has led to talks of paring down or getting rid of the program.

“We report and complete all the obligations they ask us to,” Michel said. “We use tax increment financing the right way — we have guidelines established and follow those guidelines that the council established back in 2016.”

Heavens said in the long run, these TIF agreements also benefit the school systems and county because once the TIF agreements expire, the full amount of the taxes go right back to those entities.

In order to avoid having the full weight of TIF agreements levied against the city’s debt, the council often structures agreements to use annual appropriations.

The council unanimously approved the annual appropriation payments for the fiscal year 2022-23: DEDC (brewery) (approved in July 2019) $16,667; Archiprop LC (July 2019) $200,000; Deutmeyer Auto Advantage (Oct. 2016) $10,000; Physical Therapy Solutions (December 2013) $16,000; JCDUB, LLC (April 2021) $5,500; Konzen Cabinetry & More, Inc. (February 2015) $2,000; Koelker Plastics (August 2017) $14,285; Theisen’s (May 2017) $57,142; Rose Garden Properties (March 2018) $49,000; Elite Dental PC (June 2018) $14,000; Briley LLC (June 2017) $14,000; Decker Concrete, Inc. (July 2016) $50,000; DEDC (Dardis) (December 2013) $44,800; Hall of Fame LLC (June 2017) $54,166; Alliance Mutual Insurance Assn. (January 2017) $8,000; JEDA Polymers, LLC (May 2014) $54,500; DEDC (February 2015) $121,500; Advanced Precast Co. (December 2015) $113,333; Dyersville Industries (January 2017) $125,000; Willow Pear LLC (May 2018) $16,000; Digga North American LLC (August 2019) $35,000; and Advanced Properties LLC (November 2020) $260,000.