BDA ponders tax incentive for downtown

By TAYLOR

MURCHISON-

GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Bristol Development Authority Downtown Committee met to review and discuss a possible Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, plan.

Attorney Michael Adreana, of Pullman & Comley, explained that TIF is “not a new or additional tax” on the property within what’s called a “TIF district”.

“TIF is done within designated boundaries that are part of this plan, and all it really does is take additional real property tax revenues that have come into the city because of increases in assessed values since the TIF plan went into effect, and allows the city to use a portion of those increased tax revenues to help build the infrastructure within the TIF district to assist taxpayers with property development within the district,” said Adreana.

Executive Director of the BDA Justin Malley explained the city wanted to look into TIF as another incentive for development downtown.

“It allows the city to sort of capture tax revenue within a certain environment,” said Malley. “So the city, through TIF, would be able to capture incremental tax revenue from properties within the TIF district, and use that revenue a couple of ways. We can use it ourselves for infrastructure improvements within the district, things like streetscapes, parking garages, parking areas, even programs like a revolving loan fund, if we wanted to go down that route, to assist businesses.”

Malley also said it allows the city to work with developers who may need assistance financing their Choosing an area to label a TIF district can be tricky because the TIF legislation sets a limit for the amount of assessed value of property that can be included within the district.

“The rule is the assessed value of the property within the TIF district cannot equal 10 percent or greater than the total assessed value of the city,” said Malley.

The area currently being considered, “census tract 4061,” has an assessed value of about 4.5 percent of the city’s total. If chosen, this would allow the city to add another TIF district, as it is possible to have more than one, but all together, the assessed properties in the districts can’t surpass 10 percent of the city’s total assessed value.

Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said a special City Council meeting was to be held on Thursday, May 24, in order to learn more about TIF, and to vote on the plan draft, which can be found on the city website. As of this meeting, a formal decision on the plan was not reached.

Bristol Hospital

Christopher Boyle, director of public relations and marketing for Bristol Hospital, gave an update on downtown project.

Boyle said that as of this week, staff from the Multi-Specialty group will begin a series of monthly meetings with Rendina Healthcare Real Estate and the contractors, in order to keep the City and BDA up-to-date on the project.

According to the Bristol Hospital website, the finished project will be an “Ambulatory Care Center”, a “60,000-square-foot, three story building” that will “house numerous sub-specialties for the Bristol Hospital Multi-Specialty Group, as well as dedicated space for laboratory, and physical and occupational therapy services.” The sub-specialties slated to move into the building upon completion are cardiology, endocrinology/diabetes, neurology, orthopedics, rheumatology, and urology.

Comments? Email tmurchison@BristolObserver.com. projects.