Year Created: 2012
Type: TIF Plan Approved by VEPC under TIF Authority 32 VSA 5404a(h)
Split of Increment: Education Fund = 75%/25% and Municipal General Fund = 75%/25%
After multiple years of economic decline in downtown Barre, the city was struggling with empty store fronts, low commercial rents and declining property values. Turning things around took time and didn’t come without challenges. A group of municipal officials and stakeholders identified three major goals to help jump-start revitalization: bring 500 new workers to Barre over five years by improving the city’s image with investments in public infrastructure and marketing; recruit businesses and services to meet the needs of local residents; and modernize Barre’s existing industrial assets to attract entrepreneurs and new start-up businesses.
A designated downtown since 2000, Barre took advantage of grant and tax incentive programs that give priority to projects in communities within the state designation program. Work began with updates to the city’s municipal plan and zoning bylaws and the creation of a downtown conceptual plan – all supported by the state’s municipal planning grants. The next step was finding funding to implement the plan and make infrastructure improvements to support economic development. A combination of downtown transportation grants and over $15 million in federal funding administered through the Agency of Transportation supported Barre’s “Big Dig” – a multi-year effort to revitalize North Main Street and City Hall Park. Finally, the city received approval of a TIF District to finance brownfields mitigation and increase and improve parking in the downtown enabling the relocation of 200 state employees to a new office building in the heart of downtown.
During the TIF lifetime, public investments totaling over $30 million ($12.4 million from TIF) are expected to leverage over $65 million in private development. The base value of the District was about $51 million upon creation, it was $54 million in grand list year 2015 and the value when the TIF is fully developed is expected to be $74 million, an increase in value of $23 million. Before the TIF District, the properties sent about $748,000 a year to the Education Fund. When the TIF retention period ends, the properties will send more than $1.2 million to the Education fund each year.
As of June 30, 2016:
Approximate Value of TIF Supported Infrastructure: $559,898
Approximate Value of Private Investment: $29,900,000
Ratio of Public Investment to Private Development: 1:53