It's called a TIF and like it's colloquial namesake "tiff" it can lead to some lively debate, increased blood pressure, and show up in a negative campaign add. TIFs are defined as Tax Increment Financing. They are a common tool of municipal governments when extra money is needed to support development, infrastructure improvements, and community projects.

The Lafayette Consolidated Council is reportedly considering the implementation of TIFs around the city and parish at this week's council meeting. In Lafayette, they are not called TIFs but are referred to as a taxing jurisdiction but the idea behind it is the same.

It basically works like this. An area of the community is designated as a taxing jurisdiction. That area is subject to an increase in sales tax during the time the taxing jurisdiction is in effect. The money generated from the additional sales tax is used to support improvements in the designated area.

The City-Parish Council is reported to be considering establishment of taxing jurisdictions in Downtown Lafayette, along the Evangeline Thruway near Pinhook, and also in the area around Acadiana Mall bounded by Johnston, Ambassador Caffery, Guidry Road, and Acadiana Mall Drive.

Two other taxing jurisdictions are also being considered for upper Lafayette. The Northway Economic Development District and the Holy Rosary Institute Development District are the ones proposed for the north side of town.

The City-Parish Council does not need the approval of voters to initiate these taxing jurisdictions because the areas of concern are zoned for business and not residential. Remember these TIFs have not been approved by the City-Parish Council. The ideas are just up for debate and expected to be discussed at length at the next meeting of the council.