Organization wants more tax money for city projects

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There are plenty of examples of where $5 million in tax dollars has gone in downtown Franklin: Henderson Drugs’ updated storefront, Indigo Duck restaurant’s renovated interior and facade work, just to name a few.

During the past six years the Franklin Development Corp. has loaned or given money to 26 homeowners to fix up their homes. It also has approved low-interest loans so 16 businesses could renovate the inside of their shops and paid half the cost, nearly $690,000, for 16 building owners to restore their building facades. The organization put about $2 million toward larger projects, such as buying land to help Ivy Tech’s Franklin campus expand and helping renovate the long-vacant Hazelett building.

Those funds are now mostly gone. Of the original $5 million from the city’s tax-increment financing, or TIF, districts, less than $200,000 remains for additional projects. The organization also was spending up to $200,000 per year in operating costs from a separate pool of $600,000 to pay for its director, legal fees, office expenses and fees for project reviews.

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