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State Officials Look into TIF Funds

Terre Haute officials are searching for answers to questions about the movement of city money. Nearly $5 million has been moved from redevelopment accounts to other city accounts.

WAWV has confirmed that the State Board of Accounts met with an attorney on Monday to discuss the use of TIF funds in Terre Haute. M

Mayor Bennett says the money has been moved to fall into compliance with a new law that will go into affect on July 1. That law is Senate Bill 118, and Mayor Bennett says it allows the city controller to manage funds from the redevelopment commission. But redevelopment commissioner Cliff Lambert disagrees with where the city is moving the money. City councilman, George Azar, says a few of the council members met with the mayor last week to get some of their own questions answered.
  
"We asked first off if TIF funds are being used for payroll. I think that's the big question that a lot of people have," said Terre Haute city councilman, George Azar. "He assured us that that was not the case. Again, we're going to wait and make sure. Then of course we just basically asked general funding questions. That is the city in trouble? Are we on the verge of bankruptcy? So on and so forth. He assured us that we were not. That we are in good shape. That there are just certain times of the year where finances are just a little bit less than they are at other times of the year."

In a conversation on Sunday, Mayor Bennett assured NBC 2 he checked with state officials before moving any money to make sure he was complying with the laws. Monday, Mayor Bennett said Terre Haute is actually a little behind. Cities like Kokomo, Layette, Fort Wayne and Plainfield have pooled their money for several years.
  
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