BDA discusses tax program to attract developers to city

Published on Thursday, 28 September 2017 19:59
Written by Lorenzo Burgio

STAFF WRITER

BRISTOL - The development authority’s downtown committee discussed a Tax Increment Financing program to attract developers to Centre Square.

Michael Andreana, of Pullman & Comley Attorneys LLC, presented the committee with a possible TIF program for Centre Square, similar to one adopted by New Britain in March, he said.

Developers are typically looking for some form of state, federal or municipal aid when developing large-scale development projects, Andreana said. The program, he explained, uses new, incremental property tax revenue generated from additional development that raises the assessed value of a piece of property.

The focus of the program is to increase assessed value which generates more property taxes, Andreana stated. This applies to just real property taxes, not personal property or motor vehicles.

A TIF district must be established to use this program, Andreana explained. Once it is, the real property taxes generated in that district continue to go into the city’s general fund and the new taxes generated can be used in the district, he said, “to promote development, to help pay for public infrastructure or improvements that are needed as part of the development.”

Districts have a definitive lifespan determined by the city for up to 50 years, Andreana said, and “when the tax district ends, you’re post-TIF tax revenue, all that flows back into the general fund.” The program sends a message to developers that the city is committed in economic development, attracts investment, increase the tax base, controls performance standards for projects and promotes growth.

The city can render the plan for specific development. Andreana said, it will give the city “the flexibility that you want and provides different types of opportunities and incentives that you can use, and then as each particular project comes up in a TIF district, figure out what makes the most sense.”

Justin Malley, executive director of the Bristol Development Authority said, with the program the city has the option when working on a deal with a developer to offer the TIF program, or the other tax abatements and grants the city is discussing.

“On Centre Square, if we land a sort-of really dynamic development project, chances are it’s going to need a garage. It’s very possible based on zoning and other issues, this could come into play there,” Malley said. The tax revenues for the garage could be used one source of repayment along with parking fees, Andreana added.

“We are really trying to be creative,” Councilor and committee member Dave Preleski, said. “That type of incentive enhancement, it just adds to the already - what we think - are pretty attractive incentives that already exist.”

This program and the tax abatements and grants that were just passed by the development authority, are to “prepare” and attract developers, Preleski said, “We are in competition with every town around us.”

Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at lburgio@centralctcommunications.com or at 860-584-0501 x5088.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Forestville, General Business, General News on Thursday, 28 September 2017 19:59. Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2017 20:01.