June 14, 2013 Edition

Topsham eyes new tax shelter for downtown

Workshop scheduled June 25
The Times Record

TOPSHAM

The town is holding a public workshop Tuesday, June 25 to mull over a proposed downtown tax increment financing plan.

A TIF district is a locally approved plan that allows municipalities to earmark property taxes for economic development or other specific municipal uses.

The town has been studying the formation of a downtown TIF anchored by Main Street.

Selectmen hired Planning Decisions, Inc. and Bernstein Shur in May, at a price not to exceed $ 20,000, to advise the town regarding the feasibility of forming a downtown TIF and, if feasible, to draft an appropriate application for consideration by residents at a town meeting.

The services are being entirely funded without the use of Topsham tax dollars, an announcement about the workshop stated.

At the workshop, Planning Decisions will outline and seek public input on potential benefits of a downtown TIF for Topsham; possible projects to be funded by TIF revenues; and considerations in establishing TIF boundaries.

The TIF district could extend along Main Street from the Frank J. Wood Bridge to the Interstate 295 overpass and potentially other downtown areas.

John Shattuck, the town’s economic and community development director, has said the TIF would be structured to enable the town to capture new incremental value in areas likely to be developed in the future, and to fund infrastructure improvements and community development projects.

Revenue from the TIF could, for example, fund paving on Main, Green and Elm streets; sewer, water and road infrastructure at Topsham Commerce Park; and help fund a Lower Village waterfront park, a bike path, trails, parking, sidewalks and streetlights.

The workshop starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 at the municipal building, located at 100 Main St.

dmoore@timesrecord.com

Topsham TIF district

The town is considering formation of a TIF district along
Main Street from the Frank
J. Wood Bridge to the Interstate 295 overpass and
potentially other areas.
WHAT: TIF forum
WHEN: 6 p.m. Tuesday, June
25
WHERE: Topsham Municipal
Building, 100 Main St.

2013-06-14 / Local

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