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S.291

Introduced by   Senator Condos of Chittenden District, Senator Ayer of Addison District, Senator Campbell of Windsor District, Senator Collins of Franklin District, Senator Cummings of Washington District, Senator Doyle of Washington District, Senator Dunne of Windsor District, Senator Giard of Addison District, Senator Illuzzi of Essex-Orleans District, Senator Kitchel of Caledonia District, Senator Leddy of Chittenden District, Senator Lyons of Chittenden District, Senator Miller of Chittenden District, Senator Scott of Washington District, Senator Sears of Bennington District, Senator Starr of Essex‑Orleans District and Senator White of Windham District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Taxation; tax increment financing districts; Milton; South Burlington; Berlin

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to create tax increment financing districts for the following redevelopment projects:

1.  In the town of Milton, to facilitate the construction of improvements for the areas known as the Milton Town Core, the Catamount Industrial Park, and the Husky Campus.

2.  In the city of South Burlington, to facilitate the construction of public roadways, public facilities, and related necessary infrastructure in the City Center district.

3.  In the town of Berlin, to facilitate construction of appropriate infrastructure for a new town center in the Berlin Mall vicinity. 

AN ACT RELATING TO TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICTS FOR MILTON, SOUTH BURLINGTON, AND BERLIN

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The General Assembly finds that:

(1)  Improvements to the areas known as the Milton Town Core, the Catamount Industrial Park, and the Husky Campus in the town of Milton, when those areas are more particularly defined and created as a tax increment financing district pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 1892, will provide the following public benefits: 

(A)  Revitalization and improvement of a significant downtown area.

(B)  Enhanced employment opportunities within the town of Milton.

(C)  Business stability and growth incentives.

(D)  Preservation and enhancement of the town’s tax base.

(E)  Encouragement for the creation of high-density affordable housing in the commercial center.

(F)  Reduced pressure to develop open land in the region for commercial and residential uses.

(G)  Reduction of traffic congestion.

(H)  Integration into and compatibility with regional development and capital plans.

(2)  The creation of a vibrant, mixed-use City Center district in the city of South Burlington, when that district is more particularly defined and created as a tax increment financing district pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 1892, will provide the following public benefits:

(A)  Creation of a new town center consistent with the goals of 24 V.S.A. § 2793b.

(B)  Enhanced housing and employment opportunities within the city of South Burlington.

(C)  Business stability and growth incentives.

(D)  Preservation and enhancement of the city’s tax base.

(E)  Development of high-density housing that includes affordable housing within the new town center.

(F)  Reduced pressure to develop open land in the region for commercial and residential uses.

(G)  Integration into and compatibility with regional development and capital plans.

(3)  The creation of a vibrant business and community center district that is in the area that includes and surrounds the Berlin Mall in the town of Berlin, when that area is more particularly defined and created as a tax increment financing district pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 1892, will provide the following public benefits: 

(A)  Creation of a new town center consistent with the goals of 24 V.S.A. § 2793b.

(B)  Enhanced employment opportunities within the town of Berlin.

(C)  Business stability and growth incentives.

(D)  Preservation and enhancement of the town’s tax base.

(E)  Encouragement for the creation of high-density affordable housing in the commercial center.

(F)  Reduced pressure to develop open land in the region for commercial and residential uses.

(G)  Reduction of traffic congestion and protection of existing interstate exchanges.

(H)  Improved infrastructure capabilities within the designated new town center.

(I)  Integration into and compatibility with regional development and capital plans.

Sec. 2.  FINANCING; SOUTH BURLINGTON; MILTON; BERLIN

(a)  In order to furnish appropriate and effective means of financing various developments described in Sec. 1 of this act, bonds may be issued pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 1897 for the following:

(1)  The redevelopment of the portion of the town of Milton as described in subdivision (1) of Sec. 1 of this act.  The bonds issued for the city of Milton shall have a total principal amount of no more than $50,000,000.00.

(2)  The redevelopment of the portion of the city of S outh Burlington as described in subdivision (2) of Sec. 1 of this act.  The bonds issued for the city of South Burlington shall have a total principal amount of no more than $50,000,000.00.

(3)  The redevelopment of the portion of the town of Berlin as described in subdivision (3) of Sec. 1 of this act.  The bonds issued for the town of Berlin shall have a total principal amount of no more than $20,000.00.

(b)  The tax increment financing districts shall continue until the date and hour all bond indebtedness is retired.  The bonds to be issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall comply with all the following:

(1)  The bonds shall be issued within 20 years of the effective date of this act and shall have a maximum maturity of 20 years from the date of issue, but may be refunded from time to time.

(2)  In addition to the uses permitted under 24 V.S.A. § 1898, tax increment revenue shall be used to fund reserves and accounts deemed necessary or convenient to secure the payment of bonds issued under 24 V.S.A. § 1897, to provide for the scheduled payment of debt service due on those bonds, and to redeem, discharge, pay, or defease those bonds at or prior to maturity.  For the purposes of this act, the term “improvement” as used in 24 V.S.A. § 1891 includes the installation, new construction, or reconstruction of municipal facilities, including municipal buildings, streets, utilities, and other infrastructure needed for transportation, telecommunications, wastewater treatment, and water supply, parks, playgrounds, land acquisition and land improvement, parking facilities, brownfield remediation, and other public improvements necessary to carry out the objectives of this act.  

(3)  The excess valuation of property within the tax increment financing districts organized and created pursuant to Sec. 1 of this act, to the extent that taxes generated on the excess property valuation are pledged and appropriated for debt service on bonds issued under 24 V.S.A. § 1897 or the funding of reserves under subdivision (2) of this subsection, shall not be included within the education property tax grand list provided in 32 V.S.A. § 5404 as taxable property, nor shall the excess valuation of the property be subject to the education property tax imposed under 32 V.S.A. § 5402 until bonds issued under 24 V.S.A. § 1897 are released, discharged, defeased, or fully reserved; provided that five percent of the education taxes imposed annually on the excess valuation of the residential property within the district is paid to the education fund.  The tax rate assessed on the excess value of property within the district shall be the same rate as that assessed on property outside the district.

(4)  When all bonds issued under 24 V.S.A. § 1897 with respect to a comprehensive redevelopment initiative have been paid in full or when the bonds have been fully redeemed or defeased through fully funded reserves and accounts attributable to those bonds, all property within the tax increment financing district not otherwise tax exempt shall be included within the education property tax grand list as taxable property as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 5404 and shall be subject to the education property tax imposed under 32 V.S.A. § 5402.  This subdivision shall be operative on April 1 following the date that all bonds have been fully paid, redeemed, or defeased.

(5)  The provisions of 32 V.S.A. §§ 5401(10)(E) and 5404a shall not apply to the exercise of any power or authority conferred by this act, it being the intent of the general assembly to substitute the provisions of the enactment for any other form of tax stabilization as an inducement for economic development within the tax increment financing districts identified and described in Sec. 1 of this act.

(6)  A special assessment imposed under chapter 87 of Title 24 against property in an urban renewal area, as defined in 24 V.S.A. § 3201(17), or in a tax increment financing district designated under 24 V.S.A. § 1892(a) shall not be deemed to be a property tax for determining the applicability or eligibility of any general or special property tax exemption.

(7)  The provisions of this act are in addition to any power, authority, or prerogative conferred by general law or municipal charter.

(c)  Within 60 days of issuing the bonds under subsection (a) of this section, the town of Milton, the city of South Burlington, and the town of Berlin shall provide to the joint fiscal committee of the general assembly comprehensive cost-benefit and financing data for their respective projects for use in analyzing similar redevelopment projects in other municipalities.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us