But that same official,
And state law also clearly limits how TIF money may be used, he said. Also, TIF money loaned to another area of the city would have to be fully repaid within the budget year.
"It's kind of a complicated issue, it really is," Austin said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. "It's still being discussed."
In early June, the
On Monday, however, Austin said the basic answer to that question is "no" -- that state law limits how TIF money is allowed to be spent. Just saying "no," however, "would not be telling the whole story," he said.
The SBA has taken the view that "virtually any local government fund can loan money to virtually any other fund. The statute isn't crystal clear, ... but we've taken the view that any fund can loan to another fund" as long as the loan is repaid by the end of the year, he said. That includes TIF funds, he said.
"Think of it this way," Austin said. "You can spend money and you can loan money." The law limits how you can spend TIF money, but "there's another statute that would allow money not to be spent but to be loaned."
Lambert, reached late Monday, said borrowing money implies an agreement to lend, something the administration did not receive from the
"They (the city administration) didn't request to borrow the money," Lambert said. "They arbitrarily took it."
Messages were left for Mayor Bennett Monday evening. Controller Ellis referred a request for comment to Bennett.
In early June, Lambert filed a formal complaint with the
"If we, through the course of the audit have discussions with officials and clear up matters, you may be able to glean some information by talking with them. But, from us directly, I think we're going to have to let our audit do the talking."
Austin would not say when that audit would be complete.
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