By Alex Malm
During the Monday, Nov. 14, Town Council meeting, members got an update on the Commercial/Industrial Tax Incentive Program.
Town Manager, Mike Malaguti, explained the program essentially allows for businesses that have new property value worth $15 million or more to get tax breaks. For existing businesses, they can also get tax breaks if they have an additional $15 million in value.
It was explained by Malaguti that since they implemented the program back in June, they haven’t had anyone apply for it.
“To date we haven’t had an application under the existent criteria,” said Malaguti.
“Obviously, since June the economic picture has deteriorated considerably,” said Malaguti.
Malaguti stated he has heard from people on the Town Council and in the community that it is a program that has a lot of potential and promise; however, he said the thresholds may be too high.
“But we might be pricing just about everyone out of it,” said Malaguti.
Malaguti said they should examine to see if the guidelines and requirements they have right now are appropriate at this time considering the economic conditions.
As an example Malaguti explained there are three buildings in town that are worth $20 million or more, however they wouldn’t qualify unless they added more value to it.
Malaguti told the Council that based on their review there are more businesses that would be eligible to participate if they reduce the criteria.
It was noted by Malaguti that it wouldn’t be for current tax paying properties, unless they increase their value of the property by $15 million.
He said only the additional value would be eligible for the tax break.
Town Council Chairman, John Farrell, said they should discuss it at the next meeting when the full Town Council is at the meeting.
He stated he would be willing to discuss it further, but it doesn’t mean they are going to agree to make any changes.
“I’m happy to discuss anything, it doesn’t mean we’re going to do anything,” said Farrell.
Farrell asked Malaguti to provide the Town Council with some options for them to consider.
Also during the meeting, the Town Council discussed ending the Exit 4A TIF District.
Malaguti explained while there is authorization for the TIF district, there was never anything implemented there.
“It was never fully implemented,” said Malaguti.
He said it’s not a good practice to have TIF districts that aren’t actually being used and said he recommended they dissolve it and it could be revisited if there are projects presented for it.