Board eying TIF for inn

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WILTON – Selectmen voted unanimously to enter into an executive session Tuesday night to discuss a tax increment financing district.

Last week the board decided to meet with an attorney at the meeting to discuss the proposal. Lee Bragg, of Bernstein Shur of Augusta, was asked to meet with the board during the executive session.

“We’ve been given general terms by the company but the specifics of the package are going to be discussed and refined in the executive session,” said Peter Nielsen, town manager earlier Tuesday.

Lafrance Hospitality Co., owner of the proposed Comfort Inn to be built on the Wilton Road, has requested an 80 percent credit enhancement agreement in the first year or two, gradually reducing the percentage over the length of a seven-year TIF.

The hotel project is expected to worth $6 million to $7 million in new property valuation, Nielsen previously told the board. The increased property valuation expected from the motel development would decrease the amount of state education subsidy for Wilton and increase the county tax, he said.

With a $6 million investment, a $13 tax rate would create $78,000 in new property taxes, he told the board. That in turn would lower the state education subsidy $44,000 and increase the county tax $6,000.

With a TIF agreement, the town could shelter the new tax value, avoiding the state and county penalties.

Wilton has one other TIF agreement that is nearing expiration, Nielsen said. A 20-year TIF was done in 1987 for the Cousineau property in East Wilton.

Prior to going behind closed doors the board heard a quarterly report from the Water and Sewer Department and accepted the Wastewater Department budget proposal for 2007-08.

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