News Column

TIF district discussion at council workshop tonight

February 5, 2014

By Kendall Salter, Foster's Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.

Feb. 05 -- DOVER -- The City Council will discuss the merits of implementing a Tax Increment Financing district downtown at a workshop tonight following the completion of a city-funded feasibility study. The city was awarded $29,500 from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority in order to carry out the study, which was conducted by Monadnock Economic Development Corporation . Monadnock was tasked with determining whether a TIF would help spur economic development downtown. According to a study overview, a TIF allows a city to create a district from which it can retain -- or "capture" -- new property taxes from economic development in that district and use those to fund other public improvements. Monadnock has determined a TIF district would be beneficial, and says the City Council would be able to carry out projects at no additional tax burden. "While it should be done with all due diligence and careful staff and City Council review, this is an action with long term benefits for the community," the report reads. In an email to the council, City Manager Mike Joyal said the consultant for the study spoke with stakeholders and reviewed TIF districts in other municipalities both within New Hampshire and nationally when conducting the study. In November, Economic Development Director Dan Barufaldi said a TIF district would help instigate redevelopment downtown and upgrade surrounding properties in a way that private development could not. According to Barufaldi, there would be no loss of original tax revenue, with only the incremental portion being used to pay off the bond. The rest of the money would revert to the general fund or however the City Council sees fit to spend the funds. Barufaldi said the ideal location for a TIF district would be one with infill opportunities, which makes the downtown a viable location. The City Council would have to agree to the parameters of the district, including size and location. "We've done a lot of homework in Dover ," Barufaldi said in November. "They've been very successfully used. We've learned from them. We've taken a look at how to do it right. When we do a TIF district here, we are going to be able to put all sureties so the city is kept safe." Barufaldi has said he feels a TIF district in Dover would "absolutely" be a success. The topic of TIFs came up during election season, with Mayor Karen Weston saying the city must learn from TIF districts elsewhere in order to have a successful one in Dover . During the same candidates forum, Ward 1 Councilor John O'Connor said a TIF district could be an effective tool to develop some areas, despite the "misconception" that it steals money from the general fund. Councilors will discuss the benefits, drawbacks and ramifications of a TIF district, and the results of the study beginning at 7 p.m. at City Hall . ___ (c)2014 the Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.) Visit the Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.) at www.fosters.com Distributed by MCT Information Services


For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel



Source: Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH)


Story Tools