China TIF committee proposes revision to grant form

by Mary Grow

China’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee members used their Oct. 18 meeting to propose revisions to the three-year-old application form for a grant from TIF funds.

TIF money comes from taxes paid on the Central Maine Power line that runs north-south through China and on CMP’s substation in South China.

The funds are used to promote economic development in China, a broad concept that embraces various ways of attracting people, money and attention to the town. The causeway project at the head of China Lake, completed this summer, was the most expensive to date, intended to create better facilities for fishing and boating.

Other grants have been approved for a variety of purposes, especially improving other recreational assets (like snowmobile trails and Thurston Park).

Grants are also available for events that call attention to China. For example, TIF funds contribute to the annual China Community Days weekend.

Groups seeking funding, like the Thurston Park Committee and the Four Seasons Club, fill out an application each year. If the TIF Committee endorses a grant, China Select Board members have the final say in approving or denying it.

At the Oct. 18 meeting, committee members suggested ways to make the application form more useful for both applicants and reviewers. Committee Chair Thomas Michaud and Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood plan to prepare a draft.

Hapgood said China’s TIF Second Amendment, approved by voters at the June 8 annual town meeting, still awaits state approval. She expects questions state reviewers had will be answered soon.

Hapgood gave committee members copies of the original 2015 China TIF document and the 2017 First Amendment for their records. She promised them a copy of the Second Amendment when it becomes official.

The next TIF Committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15.


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