Milton tax plan approved by state

first_imgThe state has given the Town of Milton a green light for its Tax Increment Financing District, a move that will allow the town to keep some of the property taxes generated by new development to fund infrastructure instead of sending them all to the state.Recently the Vermont Economic Progress Council gave final approval to the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District Plan after many hours of deliberation that included a meeting in Milton, public comment, and a tour of the town and the proposed TIF District.  This authorization will help the town of Milton undertake and pay for the necessary infrastructure improvements that will foster responsible economic and community development, said Karen Marshall, Chairwoman of VEPC. A TIF district epitomizes sustainable community development, Marshall said. It funds and builds infrastructure improvements that will foster economic prosperity through commerce and creation of new jobs, it fosters thoughtful, well planned community land use and transportation options, and better housing and health outcomes for the people who live and work there.The TIF District was previously approved by the Milton Select Board on September 15, 2008 following public hearings in April and September that year. The residents, planners and select board have been working toward the development of a town core for a number of years, said Milton Town Manager Sandy Miller. The approval of the Town Core TIF District is an important step as we seek to make strategic infrastructure improvements which will help create additional affordable housing and job opportunities.The authorization allows the Town of Milton to use incremental property tax revenues to finance certain public infrastructure projects like roads, lighting and sidewalks, parking, and sewers that will stimulate real property development within the TIF District.That development, in turn, will generate incremental property tax revenues that otherwise would not have been raised to pay for the infrastructure debt.The TIF District Plan approval was conditioned on the exclusion of some parcels that were included in the original TIF District application and the conditional inclusion of other parcels.Also, before any TIF District debt can be incurred, the town must submit a TIF District Financing Plan for VEPC approval which will detail the debt amounts and types of debt instruments that the town will utilize.Then the voters of Milton must approve debt levels and any bonds to be issued by the town for TIF District infrastructure projects. There is still much work to be done and reaping the benefits of this approval will not happen overnight, Miller said. We are appreciative of the thoughtful and thorough process the Vermont Economic Progress Council staff and board members engaged in which led to the approval of our TIF District application.  The TIF District was the first considered under reforms passed by the General Assembly in 2006. To approve the application, the VEPC board determined that: The real property development would not occur or would occur in a significantly different and less desirable manner unless the incremental property tax revenues helped to pay for the public infrastructure. The Town of Milton met several process criteria including public hearings and the development of a TIF District Plan. The Town of Milton approved and pledged the same proportion of incremental municipal property tax revenue as requested of the state. The proposed infrastructure and real property development are compatible with approved municipal and regional development plans and the project has clear local and regional significance for employment, housing, and transportation improvements. The proposed real property development meets one of four location criteria. The infrastructure and real property development will accomplish several public good outcomes, namely new affordable housing and improved and enhanced transportation systems.With a TIF District the value of the properties within the district are frozen at the time of approval by the municipality. All property taxes generated by that original base value continue to go to the municipality and the education fund.For 20 years, the property taxes generated by any increment above that base value are shared, with 75 percent going to the TIF District infrastructure debt and 25 percent going to the municipality and state education fund.The Vermont Economic Progress Council is an independent board consisting of nine Vermont citizens appointed by the governor that considers applications to the state s economic incentive programs.VEPC is attached to the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, whose mission is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities.For more information, visit: www.thinkvermont.com/vepc(link is external)last_img