State Auditor Announces Investigation into Bowling Green TIF District
Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen announced the launch of an investigation into issues surrounding Bowling Green’s Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, district Wednesday at the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
The TIF program allows local governments to use tax revenues they would get in the future to fund current improvements.
In Bowling Green, $25.5 million in bonds were issued for construction of business properties surrounding a parking garage. But Edelen said it’s not clear where that money has gone.
“The project collapsed this year after restaurants in the commercial wrap of the parking garage in Block 6 of the Bowling Green TIF district, and contractors alleged they hadn’t been paid.”
Edelen said two auditors have been assigned to examine all the parties and contracts involved in the project.
“So far, there are a lot of questions being raised, and we are trying to understand the relationships between all of the parties involved. It’s clear that this is a muddle morass, and accountability demands precision, and it demands a transparent environment, and I think it’s safe to say we have neither of those things in place right now.”
Edelen said there’s no specific timeline for the investigation.
Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon said local officials welcome the examination by the state auditor's office.
"If everything that has been done was just mistakes, then we need to know that. If anything that has been done is illegal, either technically or flagrantly, then we need to know that. If anything that has been done is criminal, then we need to know that as well," said Buchanon.