News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Mayor Henry supports legislation to assist transportation needs for school children
(February 24, 2015) – Mayor Tom Henry today voiced his support for proposal legislation that would assist with transportation needs for children in the Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) district.
A portion of Senate Bill 478, which is under consideration in the Indiana General Assembly, would allow a redevelopment commission to provide revenue to a school corporation’s transportation fund from property tax proceeds allocated to the redevelopment commission in a tax increment financing (TIF) allocation area.
The bill also specifies that the amount of revenue that may be provided to the school corporation may not exceed the amount of property tax revenue received by the redevelopment commission that is attributable to the school corporation’s transportation fund tax rate. The proposal would also require approval by the legislative body of the unit that established the redevelopment commission and by the redevelopment commission.
Senate Bill 478 has been passed by the Indiana Senate and has been sent to the Indiana House of Representatives for consideration.
If the bill receives final approval, FWCS would be required to petition the City of Fort Wayne to request the additional TIF funding. Mayor Henry emphasized that if the legislation passes, he will call on the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission and Fort Wayne City Council to make the necessary approvals at the local governmental level.
“Children in our City deserve to have safe and reliable transportation to and from school,” said Mayor Henry. “We must be willing to invest in our future to provide opportunities for children to grow and succeed through education.”
Mayor Henry and City government do not have jurisdiction over schools and aren’t involved in decisions made by Fort Wayne Community Schools. However, the Henry Administration is committed to being a partner in finding solutions to challenges. In addition to possible TIF assistance for next school year, the City will increase school zone signage, paint additional crosswalk markings, increase the number of crossing guards, increase police patrols near schools, and make sidewalk and street lighting enhancements through a long-term planning and construction process.