Puyallup's LIFT Application
The City of Puyallup was awarded a State LIFT grant that will help develop infrastructure improvements in the city's Revenue Development Area in downtown and along the Meridian Corridor into South Hill. The grant was submitted in June 2008 and the award was granted in September 2008.
The proposed LIFT projects represent major economic development investments and opportunities to strengthen the economic base of Puyallup's two regional growth centers and tie them together with improved transit and pedestrian-oriented mixed use development on both ends of Meridian, Puyallup's "Main Street."
What is LIFT?
LIFT (Local Infrastructure Financing Tool) is a competitive grant financing tool created by the State of Washington. It allows selected local governments to take advantage of tax revenues from private investments in an area targeted to benefit from public infrastructure improvements.
Why is Puyallup applying for a LIFT grant?
Puyallup is planning to use the proceeds to make parking improvements in the downtown, accompanied by other city street and utility improvements needed to continue downtown revitalization and mixed use development. The LIFT grant also proposes pedestrian, trail and stormwater improvements to support continued employment growth on South Hill.
Does LIFT increase my property or sales tax rate?
No. There are no new taxes created by LIFT. It does not affect your property tax or sales tax rates. The City does receive additional funds from the State's portion of sales taxes, measured by increases in State sales taxes and State property taxes collected in the area designated for infrastructure investments and redevelopment (the "Revenue Development Area," or "RDA").
How much will Puyallup receive?
The maximum amount any one jurisdiction can receive is up to $1 million per year for 25 years. A State process determines which jurisdictions receive LIFT funds, and the maximum amount for each entity. The amount received in each year is tied to the amount of new State tax revenue generated by new private investments in the RDA.
How can Puyallup be sure the projects will generate new funds?
A third party economic and financial analysis is required as part of the grant application. This study shows what new economic activity will result from the LIFT infrastructure investments. It also projects new property and sales tax revenue from new development.
How can LIFT funds be used?
Proceeds must be used to pay for public improvement projects approved by the State for this program. The types of eligible projects are streets, utilities, park and recreation facilities and parking facilities.
Will LIFT pay for the entire cost of a project?
LIFT pays for a portion of the project costs. Other funding will be sought to augment the city's local funding sources from federal, regional and state agencies. LIFT may not be implemented if other funding sources are not in place.
What is a Revenue Development Area (RDA) and why was it formed?
State law defines the RDA as a geographic area designated by the Puyallup City Council from which local sales and property taxes will be derived and where the public improvement projects will be located. (See map diagram of the proposed RDA.)
How were the boundaries determined?
The boundaries represent the areas of downtown and stretch south along Meridian to encompass the Puyallup Fairgrounds, the hospital and medical facilities and South Hill's business park, mall and Pierce College. This area has the highest potential for improving land use efficiency, re-development and new employment growth.
When does the RDA funding program end?
The RDA is dissolved once final payments are made on any bonded debt that is used to finance the public improvements. This is at the end of 25 years and depends on when the City issues the bonds.