The Tax Increment Finance (TIF) plan was presented by its subcommittee to the Planning Board on Thurs., May 23. While the plan is in its preliminary stage, it is sufficiently detailed to give Exeter residents advanced notice of yet another means of using taxpayer dollars to fund downtown improvement/beautification projects. Sylvia Von Aulock presented the plan to the Board and other subcommittee members present spoke to it. When it was pointed out that the plan only dealt with the positive aspects of forming a TIF district and none of the cons, Von Aulock and Dan Chartrand could find none and asked for examples.
When Selectman Ferraro offered an example of what taxpayers might consider a con, Chartrand immediately turned it into a pro. Keeping in mind that Chartrand’s business would benefit from the hoped for results of a TIF district, his downplaying of taxpayer concerns is troubling. It is the responsibility of elected Selectmen such as himself to act in the best interests of the taxpayers. He cannot do this if he narrow-mindedly ignores the views of those who question the forming of a TIF district and using its tax receipts solely for the downtown area at the expense of other potentially higher priority needs in Exeter.
Von Aulock said she is open to questions and concerns and commented that she should be contacted so they can be answered. It is suggested that those who wish to know more about TIF and/or have concerns do so. Copies of the plan and the recent presentation are available and should be obtained and read. The next presentation will be to the Board of Selectmen which will be open to the public.