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Published on Saturday, January 20, 2018

Bill would align LIFT program with LRF

SB 6177, Sen. Curtis King (R-Yakima), would allow local governments that have been awarded Local Infrastructure Financing Tool (LIFT) funds to carry the funds forward for use in later years. The funds could be carried over to determine the state contribution amount if the revenues from local public sources dedicated in the preceding calendar year are in excess of the project award. This provision already exists in the similar program, Local Revitalization Financing (LRF).

The LIFT program was created in 2006 and was intended to encourage economic development or redevelopment. As part of the LIFT program, a sponsoring local government – a city, town, county, or federally recognized Indian tribe – creates a revenue development area from which annual increases in revenues from local sales and use taxes and local property taxes are measured. Such increases in revenues and any additional funds from other local public sources are then used to pay for public improvements in the revenue development area and are also used to match a state contribution.

Cities support this measure because it makes common-sense changes to the program and will allow local governments participating in LIFT to make the best use of the funds committed.