§ 1701 Title.
This chapter, consisting of §§ 1701-1713, shall be known as the "Municipal Tax Increment Financing Act."
§ 1702 Definitions.
(a) In this chapter the following terms have the meanings indicated, unless the context clearly indicates another or different meaning or intent.
(b) "Act" means the Municipal Tax Increment Financing Act.
(c) "Adjusted assessed value" means:
(1) For real property that qualifies for an agricultural, horticultural or forest use under § 8329 of Title 9, the fair market value of the property without regard to its agricultural, horticultural or forest use assessment as of January 1 of that year preceding the effective date of the resolution creating the TIF District under § 1706 of this title; or
(2) In the event the municipality grants an exemption from taxes, the original assessed value less the amount of taxes subject to such exemption.
(d) "Assessed value" means the total assessed value of all real property in a TIF District subject to taxation as determined by the Assessor, with any adjustment pursuant to § 1702(c) of this title taken into account.
(e) "Assessor" shall mean the town or City Assessor or, if there is no town or City Assessor, the Department of Land Use for New Castle County, the Board of Assessment for Kent County and the Board of Assessment for Sussex County.
(f) "Bonds" or "bond" means any revenue or general obligation bonds or bond, notes or note, or other similar instruments or instrument issued by any municipality pursuant to and in accordance with this chapter.
(g) "Chief executive officer" means the mayor, or other chief executive officer of a municipality.
(h) "County" or "county" means 1 of the 3 counties of the State.
(i) "Development" includes new development, redevelopment, revitalization and renovation.
(j) "Issuer" or "issuer" means a municipality that issues bonds.
(k) "Municipality" or "municipality" means any town or city located in the State with a population in excess of 50,000 people.
(l) "Original assessed value" means the assessed value as of January 1 of that year preceding the effective date of the resolution creating the TIF District under § 1706 of this title.
(m) "Tax increment" means for any tax year the amount by which the assessed value as of January 1 preceding that tax year exceeds the original assessed value.
(n) "Tax year" means the fiscal year for the municipality.
(o) "TIF District" means an area designated by a resolution described in § 1706(1) of this title.
§ 1703 Bonds to finance development of industrial, commercial or residential area authorized.
In addition to whatever other powers it may have, and notwithstanding any limitation of law, any municipality may borrow money by issuing and selling bonds, at any time and from time to time, for the purpose of financing the development of an industrial, commercial or residential area.
§ 1704 Payment of bonds.
Bonds shall be payable from the special fund described in § 1706(3)b. of this title, and the governing body of the issuer may also pledge its full faith and credit or establish sinking funds, establish debt service reserve funds or pledge other assets and revenues towards the payments of the principal, premium, if any, and interest, including special taxes levied and collected pursuant to Chapter 18 of this title.
§ 1705 Application of bond proceeds.
All proceeds received from any bonds issued and sold pursuant to this chapter shall be applied solely for:
(1) The cost of purchasing, leasing, condemning or otherwise acquiring land or other property, or an interest in them, in the designated TIF District or as necessary for a right-of-way or other easement to or from the TIF District;
(2) Demolition and site removal;
(3) Plans, specifications, studies, surveys, forecasts and estimates of cost and revenues;
(4) Relocation of businesses or residents;
(5) Installation of utilities, construction of parks and playgrounds, and other necessary improvements, including streets and roads to, from, or within the TIF District, parking, lighting and other facilities;
(6) Construction or rehabilitation of buildings;
(7) Reserves or capitalized interest;
(8) Necessary costs of issuing bonds;
(9) Permissive costs of issuing and servicing the bonds, which may include up to 0.5% of the bond issues as origination costs incurred by the municipality, and up to 2.0% of the bond debt service payments as administrative costs if administered by the municipality;
(10) Payment of the principal, premium, if any, and interest on loans, money advanced or any indebtedness incurred by a municipality for any of the purposes set out in this section, including the refunding of bonds previously issued under this chapter; and
(11) Any costs permitted under § 1801(2) of this title, and for any purposes described in § 1802(b)(2) of this title; provided, however, that the purposes described in § 1802(b)(2) of this title shall be with reference to the designated TIF District.
§ 1706 Conditions precedent to issuance of bonds.
Before issuing any bonds, the governing body of the issuer shall:
(1) Designate by resolution an area within its jurisdiction as a "TIF District".
(2) Receive from the appropriate assessor a certification as to the amount of the original assessed value.
(3) Pledge that until the bonds have been fully paid, or thereafter, the municipal property taxes on real property within the TIF District shall be divided as follows:
a. That portion of the taxes which would be produced by the rate at which taxes levied each year by or for a municipality upon the original assessed value shall be allocated to and when collected paid into the funds of the taxing body in the same manner as taxes by or for the taxing body on all other property are paid.
b. That portion of the taxes representing the levy on the tax increment that would normally be paid to the issuer shall be paid into a special fund to be applied in accordance with the provisions of § 1708 of this title.
c. That portion of the taxes representing the levy on the tax increment that would normally be paid to a taxing body other than the issuer shall be allocated to and, when collected, paid into the funds of such taxing body in the same manner as taxes by or for the taxing body on all property are paid, or any other manner that public agencies so determine (school districts, etc.); provided however, if such taxing body has agreed pursuant to § 1709 of this title that such taxes shall be paid into a special fund created in accordance with § 1707 of this title, then such taxes shall be paid into such special fund.
§ 1707 Resolution creating special fund.
The governing body of any municipality may adopt a resolution creating a special fund with respect to a TIF District, even though no bonds authorized by this chapter have been issued by such municipality with respect to that TIF District or are then outstanding. The taxes allocated to such special fund by § 1706(3)b. or c. of this title shall thereafter be paid over to such special fund, as long as such resolution remains in effect.
§ 1708 Uses of special fund; issuance of general obligation bond.
(a) Uses of special fund when no bonds outstanding. — When no bonds authorized by this chapter are outstanding with respect to a TIF District and the governing body of the municipality so determines, moneys in the special fund for that TIF District created pursuant to § 1707 of this title may be:
(1) Used for any of the purposes described in § 1705 of this title for which bond proceeds could be used;
(2) Accumulated for payment of debt service on bonds subsequently issued under this chapter;
(3) Used to pay or to reimburse the municipality for debt service which the municipality is obligated to pay or has paid (whether such obligation is general or limited) on bonds issued by the municipality, or any agency, department or political subdivision thereof, the proceeds of which have been used for any of the purposes specified in § 1705 of this title; or used to pay or reimburse any developer loan; or
(4) Paid to the municipality to provide funds to be used for any legal purpose as may be determined by the municipality.
(b) Restrictions on use of special funds. — When any bonds authorized by this chapter are outstanding with respect to a TIF District and the governing body of the municipality so determines, moneys in the special fund for that TIF District created pursuant to § 1707 of this title may be used as provided in subsection (a) of this section in any fiscal year by the municipality, but only to the extent that:
(1) The amount in such special fund exceeds the unpaid debt service payable on such bonds in such fiscal year and is not restricted so as to prohibit the use of such moneys;
(2) Such use is not prohibited by the ordinance authorizing the issuance of such bonds; and
(3) To the extent not prohibited by bond or loan covenants.
(c) Compliance with charter requirements. — The issuance of general obligation bonds pursuant to this section shall comply with appropriate municipal charter requirements.
§ 1709 Agreements to pay revenue from taxes on tax increment into special fund.
A county, which is not the issuing body, may pledge, by written agreement, that some or all of its property taxes levied on the tax increment shall also be paid into a special fund created pursuant to § 1707 of this title. Such agreements shall be between the governing bodies of a municipality and the county. They shall run to the benefit of and be enforceable on behalf of any bondholder.
§ 1710 Ordinance authorizing bonds.
(a) Required; mandatory provisions. — In order to implement the authority conferred upon it by this chapter to issue bonds, the governing body of any municipality shall adopt an ordinance which:
(1) Specifies and describes the proposed undertaking and states that it has complied with § 1706 of this title;
(2) Specifies the maximum rate or rates of interest the bonds are to bear.
(b) Additional provisions. — The resolution described in § 1707 of this title may itself specify and prescribe, or may authorize its finance board or department, by resolution or ordinance, or its chief executive officer, by executive order, to specify and prescribe any of the following as it deems appropriate to effect the financing of the proposed undertaking:
(1) The actual principal amount of the bonds to be issued;
(2) The actual rate or rates of interest the bonds are to bear;
(3) The manner in which and the terms upon which the bonds are to be sold;
(4) The manner in which and the times and places that the interest on the bonds is to be paid;
(5) The time or times that the bonds may be executed, issued and delivered;
(6) The form and tenor of the bonds and the denominations in which the bonds may be issued;
(7) The manner in which and the times and places that the principal of the bonds is to be paid, within the limitations set forth in this chapter;
(8) Provisions pursuant to which any or all of the bonds may be called for redemption prior to their stated maturity dates; or
(9) Such other provisions not inconsistent with this chapter as shall be determined by such legislative body to be necessary or desirable to effect the financing of the proposed undertaking.
(c) Referendum. — Neither the ordinance authorizing the bonds referred to herein, nor any ordinance, resolution or executive order passed or adopted in furtherance thereof, nor the bonds themselves, shall be subject to any referendum by reason of any other state or local law, except that an ordinance authorizing the pledge of the full faith and credit of a municipality to the payment of principal and interest on bonds issued pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to any applicable provisions for referendum.
§ 1711 Exemption of bonds from taxation.
The principal amount of the bonds, the interest payable thereon, their transfer, and any income derived therefrom, including any profit made in the sale or transfer thereof, shall be exempt from taxation by the State and by the several counties and municipalities of this State.
§ 1712 Nature and incidents of bonds.
(a) Form of bond; deemed "securities." — All bonds shall be in fully registered form. Each of the bonds shall be deemed to be a "security" within the meaning of § 8-102 of Title 6, whether or not it is either 1 or a class or series or by its terms is divisible into a class or series of instruments.
(b) Signing and sealing. — All bonds shall be signed manually or in facsimile by the chief executive officer of the issuer, and the seal of the issuer shall be affixed thereto and attested by the clerk or other similar administrative officer of the issuer. If any officer whose signature or countersignature appears on the bonds ceases to be such officer before delivery of the bonds, the officer's signature or countersignature shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if the officer had remained in office until delivery.
(c) Maturity. — All bonds shall mature not later than 30 years from their date of issuance.
(d) Sale. — All bonds shall be sold in such manner, either at public or private sale and upon such terms as the governing body of the issuer deems best. Any contract for the acquisition of property may provide that payment shall be made in bonds.
(e) Bonds issued are securities. — Bonds issued under this section are securities in which all public officers and public bodies of the State and its political subdivisions, all insurance companies, state banks and trust companies, national banking associations, savings banks, savings and loan associations, investment companies, executors, administrators, trustees and other fiduciaries may properly and legally invest funds, including capital in their control or belonging to them.
(f) Construction of section. — This section, being necessary for the welfare of the State and its residents, shall be liberally construed to effect the purpose of this section.
§ 1713 TIF District consistency with certified comprehensive plan.
The use of lands in a TIF District shall be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the area as certified pursuant to § 9103(f) of Title 29.
§ 1714 Construction of chapter.
This chapter, being necessary for the welfare of the State and its residents, shall be liberally construed to effect the purpose of this chapter.
§ 1715 Taxation of leased property in TIF District.
Whenever the municipality, as lessor, leases its property within the TIF District, the property shall be assessed and taxed in the same manner as privately owned property, and the lease or contract shall provided that the lessee shall pay taxes or payments in lieu of taxes upon the assessed value of the entire property and not merely the assessed value of the leasehold interest.