I’m writing today to express my surprise and disappointment at the proposed 63%, 20-year TIF for the Saxon Partners project on Avon Street and the speed in which it is being pushed through Lewiston’s City Council.

When the project was proposed, the city estimated $750,000 per year in tax revenue that in part would fund badly needed infrastructure improvements in Sunnyside and accommodate an increased population in a section of the city that has not seen investment for decades while offsetting expenditures for increased public services. As a resident of Sunnyside, I was very supportive of the project.

On Dec. 17, in the last session of the current council before our newly elected members and mayor can take their seat in chambers, citizens will have only one opportunity to give feedback moments before the council votes to give an out-of-state private enterprise a $475,000 tax break per year for two decades.

This decision will be made without an impact study on the increased density, guidance on required infrastructure improvements or costs, or review of the economic feasibility to Lewiston’s tax base. I’ve heard “If you build it, they will come.” I haven’t heard “Can we afford to build it without increased tax revenue?”

We need new housing. We need market rate and contract employee workforce housing. But we need tax revenue more.

Without a clear understanding of what the actual cost will be to the taxpayer, Lewiston shouldn’t grant this huge tax break to Saxon Partners.

Why the rush?

Joshua Nagine, Lewiston

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