The Old Town City Council last week approved the designation of a tax increment financing district that will save the city an estimated $3.365 million over its lifetime.
The district, which must also be approved by the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, would include roughly 25 to 35 acres of land along Stillwater Avenue and in part of the downtown. It would shelter the tax valuations of three properties on Stillwater Avenue – the Black Beak hydro-electric dam, the new Maine Saving Bank, and a lot adjoining the bank owned by RH Foster. The TIF designation would last for 30 years.
According to Economic Development Director Ron Harriman, those properties will generate an estimated $6 million in taxes over the life of the TIF. Without the designation, however, 52 percent of those taxes would evaporate, due to an increase in the city’s share of the county tax, and losses in school subsidies and municipal revenue sharing.
Harriman said that if the designation is approved at the state level, the additional tax dollars could be used in a variety of ways along the TIF corridor, including sidewalk and street repairs, infrastructure improvements, public safety, broadband, and more.
“This is a real opportunity to capture this value,” said Harriman. “If you didn’t do this, you would lose this money. This allows us to keep it all in Old Town.”

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