BRISTOL - The City Council awarded a $37,350 contract to Camoin Associates, an economic development consulting firm, in a Jan. 9 meeting. The contract is to develop a Tax Increment Financing master plan and establish a TIF target district.
“It’s not a new tax to anyone,” said Justin Malley, executive director of the development authority. “It’s about setting a baseline for value, then capturing the increase in value as development occurs.”
TIF is an incentive program meant to attract developers to areas of the city difficult to develop, he explained. The program allows the city to recycle property taxes generated from development in a target district back into infrastructure projects within that district, he said.
Through the program, private developers can work with the city and use future property tax revenue from their development to finance that project upfront, or they can also opt out of the program, he added.
The contract is now being finalized and signed, and when it is, the consultant can begin to establish a target district and create a master plan, Malley explained.
At the moment, the idea is to establish a target district in downtown, however, the consulting firm will define the exact areas of downtown that district will encompass, he said.
Although, the enterprise zone in downtown is a good place to start because it already has development incentives, and making it a target district is an extra incentive to encourage development, Malley pointed out.
“Centre Square is a tremendous opportunity for TIF financing,” Malley said, citing that it is a part of the enterprise zone. Any development in Centre Square would be captured by the TIF program, as long as the developer decides to partake in the program, because the land is currently undeveloped, he added.
Once the target district is identified, the consultant will identify the costs associated with the program and where the city could benefit, to then draft a master plan, Malley explained.
The entire process takes about six months because the master plan will have to be discussed in a public hearing, and approved by city boards, committees, the City Council and state, he noted.
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at 860-973-5088 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.