Let the Voters Decide
I believe it was totally inappropriate for Town Manager, Russ Dean, to come out in an editorial touting the benefits of a Tax Incentive Financing (TIF) district in the downtown area. It appears as though he is attempting to garner positive public opinion before the TIF Plan is presented to the Board of Selectmen in June.
On a more troubling note are comments he made in Tuesday’s Economic Development Commission meeting. He commented that the EDC needed to move quickly to get TIF approved by the voters before development actually started on either Chestnut or Franklin Streets. RSA 162k requires TIF to be in place before development begins. But, it was then said that there were plans already underway at sites on these two streets.
So, how does TIF actually encourage development within its district if interest is already taking place by identified parties? Clearly it appears to be an attempt to place new future tax receipts into a downtown beautification fund rather than the general fund that benefits all taxpayers.