TIF stands for Tax Increment Financing. It is a way to pay for improvements to vacant and underused land in the city, so that it becomes productive again. The city has created the CRA/TIF districts to help develop blighted areas, build and repair roads and infrastructure, clean up polluted land, and put vacant properties back to work for the people of Panama City. By returning formerly vacant properties to the tax rolls, the city created new sources of revenue within the TIF district, generating the funds needed to make necessary improvements without raising taxes in the community. The city's investments in these areas are repaid through improved, productive properties that become new, permanent revenue generators.
Plans are implemented as projects, opportunities, and funds become available to address the specific needs identified. CRA staff must be quick to recognize opportunities, and strategic changes that need to be made, as conditions progress in the area. As tax revenues grow (overtime), the ability of each CRA District to fund projects and plans improves. This process continues until conditions are reversed and the District can expire. See the chart below for a graphic illustration of the process as well as picture highlights of some recent CRA Projects: