FARMINGTON — The state has approved an application for the fifth amendment to the Franklin County’s Tax Increment Financing District and Development Program connected to the unorganized territory in the county.

The approval letter from Commissioner Heather Johnson of the Department of Economic and Community Development was sent in a March 8 email to county Administrator Amy Bernard and was effective immediately.

The county entered into the agreement in 2008 pertaining to the Kibby Wind Power Project in Kibby and Skinner townships in northern Franklin County. Helix Maine Wind Development bought the a 44-turbine, 132-megawatt facility in 2017.

The TIF agreement is for 30 years and was set to expire June 30, 2039.

However, with a change to state law in October 2023, the unorganized territory has an additional three years from this expiration date to spend TIF revenues on the allowable project costs approved by the Department of Economic and Community Development, according to Victoria Foley, the department’s Legislative Affairs and Communications spokeswoman.

The new amendment allows for new categories for TIF money to fund, such as quality child care and adult centers, or scholarships for those facilities, in the unorganized territory for economic development funding options.  


Other new categories include transit-oriented development; recreational trail development; financing cost expenditures; affordable housing within and outside the district to serve economic development or assist with homelessness, environmental improvements; and public safety facilities related to economic development not to exceed 15% of captured assessed value.

The county has a TIF Advisory Committee that reviews applications for projects or educational scholarships in approved categories. The committee, made up of unorganized territory residents, reviews grant applications and grades them. The successful applications are presented to county commissioners to consider for approval.

With the original agreement for the development program, the unorganized territory would capture 75% of the increase assessed value from property tax years April 1, 2009, through March 31, 2019, then 100% from property tax years April 1, 2019, through March 31, 2039.

With the third amendment, the unorganized territory adjusted increase assessed value would capture 100% beginning with property tax year April 1, 2016.

The unorganized territory revenue allocation projected at nearly $43 million may facilitate funding for an estimated $20 million in public costs and associated debt — if any, according to Commissioner Johnson’s letter to county Administrator Bernard.

The projected nearly $43 million is based on the actual amounts captured to date and the projects underway, according to county attorney Alyssa Tibbetts’ explanation, Foley wrote in an email. To the extend the captured assessed value far exceeds the expected project costs, the county will reduce the capture rate.

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