F.A.Q.

What is Rio Nuevo?

The Rio Nuevo District is a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) entity that receives approximately $12 to $15 million dollars a year in locally generated State tax dollars.

What is a TIF?

Tax Increment Financing, (TIF), is a public financing method that is used for subsidizing redevelopment, infrastructure and other community-improvement projects in many states. TIF is often designed to channel funding toward improvements in distressed, underdeveloped or underutilized parts of a jurisdiction where development might otherwise not occur.

TIF can help finance public infrastructure, land acquisition, demolition, utilities and planning costs, and other improvements including:

• Sewer expansion and repair
• Curb & sidewalk work
• Storm drainage
• Traffic control
• Street construction expansion
• Street lighting
• Water supply
• Landscaping
• Park improvements
• Environmental remediation
• Bridge construction & repair
• Parking structures

Since the State was forced to greatly reduce their support for economic development, TIF allows municipalities to accept some of this responsibility. TIFs help local governments attract private development and new businesses. New businesses mean more jobs, more customers, and, in turn, more private investment.

TIF designation also helps retain existing businesses that might otherwise find more attractive options elsewhere. Sales tax revenue may also increase and jobs and additional investment (private and public) mean more money for the community. TIF also helps to overcome the extraordinary costs that often prevent development and private investment from occurring on certain properties due to previous environmental contamination. As a result, the TIF area can restore property, which in turn compels property values to increase, thereby expanding the tax base even further.

Without TIF benefits, a deteriorating area will not improve. Businesses will not sink capital into decaying or otherwise compromised areas. In a TIF district, those monies for necessary remediation or improvements are generated by the businesses, new and old attracted by the TIF benefits. Specifically, money for infrastructure improvements and other incentives comes from the growth in sales tax revenues, called the tax increment.

Arizona is the only state that TIF revenue is generated through sales taxes.

How did Rio Nuevo come to be?

The Rio Nuevo District was first envisioned by Arizona State legislators and approved by Arizona voters in 1999.

Who governs the Rio Nuevo District?

Appointees from the State Senate, State House of Representatives, and the Governor of the State of Arizona govern the newly reconstituted Rio Nuevo District.

What is the history of Rio Nuevo?

Before the Legislature took control in 2010, $230 million dollars was spent with little or no accountability, and little to show for it. The money has since been fully accounted for due to the efforts of the new Board. The current board is disciplined and fully transparent about how state funds are utilized, and has separated the accounting from the City of Tucson. All expenditures are posted on this website.

Why have a TIF?

TIF’s create short and long term benefits for communities. TIF benefits include:

• Increased property values
• Private investment and development
• New jobs
• Job retention
• Stronger, broader tax base
• Stronger economic base
• Locally controlled development with State oversight
• Incremental revenue is reinvested in the TIF district
• Stimulates investment outside TIF district boundaries

The Rio Nuevo Board would like to welcome you to the Official Web Site for the Rio Nuevo downtown redevelopment and revitalization district.

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