Livermore Falls voters to consider creating TIF district

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LIVERMORE FALLS — Voters will be asked Thursday to approve an application for a tax-increment financing district to submit to the state to capture 90 percent of an estimated $14 million upgrade at CMP’s substation.

The special town meeting vote will be held 6:30 p.m. at the Town Office. The goal is to improve economic development in the town.

Under the proposed tax-increment financing proposal, the town would shelter 90 percent of the new value of Central Maine Power’s upgrade and capture an estimated $8.59 million in new taxes over 30 years, according to consultant John Cleveland, president of Community Dynamics Corp. in Auburn.

The remaining 10 percent of value is estimated to generate $954,720 in new revenue with a net amount of $374,558 going into the general fund. The figures are based on what is known now and the current tax rate of $20.80 per $1,000 of real property value. If the formulas change, the projection would change, Cleveland told residents at a hearing in January.

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The town would have the flexibility to capture less than the 90 percent of value but not more once the agreement is accepted, he said.

CMP will not benefit from the municipal TIF district.

The agreement does not pertain to any personal property value or taxes.

The town projects generating about $291,200 in new tax revenue once the full value of the completed substation is on the tax rolls, Cleveland previously said.

Using the current tax rate, the town will collect $262,080 in TIF revenues and $29,120 in general fund revenues by year two of the TIF, he said.

CMP substation’s value before the project was $3.85 million, which brings in $80,092.48 in taxes, Town Manager Kristal Flagg said previously. The town will continue to collect taxes from the current value if a TIF is created.

If the town does not create a TIF, it would lose 52 percent of the new funds that would be generated through taxes and gain 48 percent, Cleveland said previously. With a TIF, the town would be able to retain about 94 percent of the TIF revenue. Town officials would be able to reduce the percentage captured on a year-to-year basis, if needed.

Among the possible projects the TIF funds could be used for are creating a business park, wastewater treatment plant upgrades, natural gas distribution systems, trail system improvements, training/scholarship funding, cultural/arts programing, downtown improvements, economic development dues and more.

Voters will also be asked to allow 100 percent credit-enhancement agreements to provide an incentive to developers interested in investments within the TIF district. Town officials would have the flexibility to enter into an agreement that is less than 100 percent to help develop jobs and attract and retain businesses.

No guarantees are given that the tax rate would be reduced with a TIF but it is hoped it would decrease or that the rate would remain stable, Cleveland previously said.

The proposed TIF district includes the area of the Otis Falls Mill property in Livermore Falls, the downtown corridor from the Jay town line to the Depot Street/Park Street area, the town’s Wastewater Treatment Plant property, PalletOne/Isaacson Lumber Co. properties and some properties near the ReEnergy Holdings biomass plant.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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