CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The City of Charleston now has a bank account set up just for its civic center project.

City Council members approved a resolution to set up the account Monday night.

“It sets up a unique bank account for the city to house the proceeds from the property tax that’s designated from the TIF district, which is of course going to be used as funding debt service for the Civic Center project,” said Charleston finance director Joe Estep.

The move comes as accounting guidelines suggest the city set up a separate account for funds dedicated to a debt service. Estep said it’s necessary to make sure the funds are going toward their designated project.

The account should begin receiving funds as early as this Friday and Estep said the fund would continue to grow throughout the year.

“We anticipate through the next 11 months that we could receive as much as 228-thousand dollars give or take,” said Estep.

For fiscal year 2015, the city is anticipating around $500,000. Estep said the property tax from the TIF district—which contains portions of downtown Charleston— projected to total around $6 million for the project.

Estep said this is only part of the funding plan for the civic center renovations. In May, the council approved a plan for a half-cent sales tax increase projected to collect around $3.5 million per year and totaling between $45 million and $60 million over its lifetime to cover the project’s costs.

City Manager David Molgaard said tax collecting won’t begin until October and the city won’t see the funds until the start of next year.

Some of the financial plan is part of the current West Virginia Home Rule Pilot Project. No timetable has been released as to when plans for the civic center project would be finalized and construction can begin.


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  • stephenwv

    The only thing needed to make the Civic center a whopping success, is for the Legislature to make WV desirable for businesses to come to WV. They refuse to do that.

  • liberty4all

    TIF projects are not the answer. They seem to be en vogue since supported by both parties, but the citizens/taxpayers are the ones who get hurt. If it is not a worthwhile project to attract private investment (or if it is so unstable it cannot obtain same), than why pass a TIF? If it is of such community interest, why not appropriate for it in local government budgets?

    The tax revenue from the TIF districts (property and sales taxes) would otherwise go to the local and state government for use on other worthwhile projects (or God forbid, a return to the citizens).

    Amazingly, many "small government" conservatives support these TIF projects if they are designed to assist a project in their area or one they would like to see built. It doesn't seem to take much for an abandonment of principles (see, Morgantown TIF, WVU baseball stadium).

  • Dan

    The basketball arena needs a major facelift. It's like playing in a cave.

  • BH

    A worthwhile project, if done well. From an aesthetic stand point, please use some of these funds to remodel the exterior of the entire complex. To be such a key structure in Charleston it is a hideous eyesore, to say the least.

  • Brian

    What would really help the Civic Center would be if they had better booking agents. When you look at their calendar, it looks like they are a local community center instead of the "major"
    place for events in a capitol city. There are very few "big" performers, and the ones that do come here are few & far between.