Brad Bookout: Economic Development

Brad is an alumni of Ball State University ’95 and a native of the Muncie area.  He graduated with a Political Science degree with hopes of being an attorney.  After a two week escapade at the University of Dayton, he dropped out to start building houses with his father.  He became a certified master homebuilder, creating business plans and financing housing projects around Delaware County.  The financial crisis of 2007 set him and his family’s business back, having to liquidate the family savings accounts.  He soon needed to find a job and was able to find a gig writing grants for an economic development / consulting firm run by Roy Bud, husband of Ball State president Jo Ann Gora.  His ability to find financing for public and private development projects was soon in high enough demand that he and his wife were able to start a consulting firm called Augusta Consulting in Delaware County.

He taught the students of Econ Club the significance of a TIF district.  TIF, Tax Increment Financing, is a method used to subsidize community/economic development projects.  The idea is that usually that a TIF district is implemented in a low income area, and is intended to be a “push” towards improving the economic condition of the area.  Added jobs, higher wages, and, perhaps most importantly, funding for community projects, have all been goals of the implementation of the TIF districts across the U.S. (with the exception of Arizona).  Infrastructure projects are often financed heavily by TIF districts, which usually lasts 20 years.  You can learn more about TIF at everyone’s favorite site, Wikipedia.

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