China TIF members continue talks on proposed changes

by Mary Grow

Members of China’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee met May 29 to continue discussing proposed changes in China’s TIF document.

Focus was on the different projects for which TIF funds are appropriated, specifically which ones are not spending their full appropriations and which ones need more money.

Committee members got through five items before several members had to leave, ending discussion. Their recommendations are:

For expanding and improving broadband service, continue at $30,000 a year.
— For the South China boat landing, continue at $7,500 a year.
— For the cost of funding town-created economic development programs, a reduction from $35,000 a year to $25,000 a year. The program spends under $15,000 a year, mostly to hire a summer intern who focuses on economic development.

If the time town office staff spend on TIF-eligible work were charged to TIF, more money would be needed. Committee members discussed the additional record-keeping that would be necessary; when the town manager attended a two-hour TIF-related meeting, simple to note and prove, but what about brief phone calls spaced through the week?

For economic development events (mostly China Community Days and China Ice Days), increase from $15,000 to $25,000 annually, to allow for additional events.
For marketing China as a business location, delete the currently-scheduled reduction from a maximum of $25,000 annually to $5,000 annually beginning July 1, 2026; instead allocate $20,000 a year from 2026 through the end of the TIF in 2045.

In cases where a project had a substantial unspent balance, committee members recommended putting left-over money back in the program development fund, the section that committee member Jamie Pitney called “the common pot.” The money would then be available for re-allocation to a project that has been spending all its TIF money and needing more.

The committee will meet again Monday, June 10, at 6 p.m., in either the town office meeting room or the nearby former portable classroom. Remaining topics include environmental improvements; the revolving loan program; job training; trails; and matching money for grants.

The list from which committee members are working is pages 28 through 36 of China’s 2021 Second Amended TIF Program. It is on the website, under the Tax Increment Financing Committee, which is under Officials, Boards and Committees.


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