By Chris Paul
A tax incentive program that town official’s hope will spur economic development at the Woodmont Commons Planned Unit Development (PUD) will be discussed in a public hearing at the next Town Council meeting.
The first reading of the ordinance was at the Monday, Nov. 22, Town Council meeting, where council chairman John Farrell stated that a public hearing would be held during the Nov. 29 meeting. After that meeting was cancelled, the date was changed and the public discussion will now be held at the Monday, Dec. 6 Town Council meeting.
Ordinance 2021-03 hopes to create a Commercial and Industrial Tax Incentive Program for two significant areas in the Woodmont Commons PUD. These areas are designated as WC-1 and WC-2 in Woodmont’s Master Plan.
If passed, this ordinance would allow businesses thinking of building in the Woodmont area to take advantage of short-term property tax relief. The amount of tax relief will be determined by the size of the project being built.
Three tiers are being set up to determine the length of time each project would be allowed to defer part of their property taxes.
For Tier One Projects, which are projects valued at $5 million or more, there will be a 50 percent exemption in the first year after completion of the project. In the nine years after that, there will be a five percent decrease for each year. In year two it will be 45 percent, year three 40 percent and so on.
For Tier Two Projects, those valued at $2,500,000 or more would start their first year with a 40 percent property tax savings. The following four years would have those savings drop 10 percent each year for the next four years.
Year two would see a 30 percent savings, year three a 20 percent and year four would be 10 percent and year five is five percent.
For Tier Three Projects, any project valued at $1 million or more, the percentage of savings is slightly lower. In the first tax year, there will be a 30 percent savings, following that, year two will have a 20 percent break, 15 percent in year three, 10 percent in the fourth and five percent in the final year.
The ordinance goes on to state that in order to qualify for tax relief the new construction project must be a benefit to the public. Anything built or rehabilitated must fall under one of the following criteria:
• Enhance the economic vitality of the town
• Promotes development of municipal centers, provides for efficiency, safety and greater sense of community.
• Increases commercial and industrial activity in the town, including job creation.
• Increases the town’s commercial tax base.
The ordinance also explains that each project must apply for tax relief through an application and be granted relief by the Town Council.
The council must find that the project is a benefit to the public and that the proposed use is consistent with the applicable master plan, zoning ordinance or development regulations.
To read the full ordinance, residents can find a copy in the full agenda file of the Nov. 22 Town Council meeting at londonderrynh.org.
The Londonderry Times will also post a copy on our Facebook page this week.