Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District Moves Forward

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Thursday September 06, 2012

At the August 27 South Burlington City Council meeting, City Manager Sandy Miller was authorized by a unanimous decision to send the TIF application to the Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC). At the meeting, Project Director Ilona Blanchard reiterated the purpose and proposed plan of the tax increment financing (TIF)  district.

According to the TIF application, “A TIF district is one of the few state programs to stimulate economic growth available directly to municipalities. A TIF District plan, once adopted by the City and approved by VEPC clears the path to allow the District to retain 75 percent of the increase in education tax revenue generated within the boundaries (of the district) over a twenty year period. After a positive vote, by the legal voters of the city these revenues may be used to finance the improvements discussed in the plan.”

Since the councilors had already seen the presentation and no one in the public voiced their desire to view it, the floor was opened for questions. Resident Mike Young asked about the total application fee, which City Manager Sandy Miller said would be $5,000 with an additional $15,000 to hire a consultant to review the application as well as a few miscellaneous costs associated with the process. The City pays this fee.

South Burlington’s application was submitted on Tuesday morning August 28th, however, Barre also submitted at the same time.  “We are awaiting an outcome from VEPC on how they would like to proceed” Ms. Blanchard said. ”The next step in the review of the District application, is for VEPC to accept comments on the application. There is a link on the inside of the plan to VEPC’s website.  Regarding development and projects within the District, there will be many opportunities for public involvement and to speak at public hearings.”

The TIF District is a financial tool to obtain financial resources from the State to implement the plans for City Center.  Any District project, development or financing would still have to go through the regular vetting, design, and review/approval processes already in place.

The Plan is available for viewing on the City Center Initiative page: http://www.sburl.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={6E578152-52EF-4AE4-BCC5-EE0FACD420D0}. It is important to keep in mind while reading the plan that all of the numbers noted are estimates and amendable as the project evolves and are therefore, subject to change.

SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent