FRANKFORT — A measure that would let the University of Kentucky use tax breaks to help spur a multiuse development at its slow-growing Coldstream Research Campus was approved 32-2 by the Senate late Thursday.
The Senate altered House Bill 310 slightly, which means the House will have to agree to the changes before the measure is sent to Gov. Steve Beshear for his signature or veto.
Under HB 310, university research parks and military bases could apply to receive tax increment financing, commonly called TIF, for development projects. Tax increment financing uses taxes generated from a development to pay for infrastructure improvements, such as streets, utilities, demolition, landscaping and parking structures.
Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, the bill's sponsor, said UK would like to add a multi-use development on 35 acres. It would include laboratory space, retail and restaurants near the Embassy Suites off Newtown Pike. About 10 acres is park land and would not be developed.
If the latest TIF bill is signed into law and UK trustees approve a development, UK could begin trying to find a developer within 60 days, UK officials have said.
The bill also would allow a TIF development within 3 miles of Fort Campbell near Hopkinsville. That development — a mix of retail, restaurant and other spaces — eventually would help the state generate much-needed sales tax revenue, according to its backers.
The Senate version added some language that would extend some TIF districts throughout the state. It's unlikely the House will object to the changes the Senate made.