Burlington Waterfront TIF District

Burlington Waterfront TIF District
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Year Created:  1997
Type:  Created Pre-Act 60; Use of Ed. Prop. Tax Grandfathered by Legislature (Act 60)
Split of Increment: 
Original:  Education Fund = 100%/0% and Municipal General Fund = 100%/0%
Beginning 2010:  Education Fund = 75%/25% (Except 2 parcels which are at 100%/0%) and Municipal General Fund = 100%/0%

The Burlington Waterfront TIF District has transformed an economically depressed area that was divided from the City by a rail line into a vibrant waterfront location to work, play and live.  Projects have connected the downtown to the waterfront, stimulating a market for commercial, retail and business office space as well as a market for downtown housing, and created a premier destination waterfront venue for activities and events accessible to all Vermonters.

In 1996, the City Council created a TIF District along the central and northern Burlington waterfront and then in 1997 expanded the district to include the Cherry Street spur between Battery Street and Bank Street.  The Vermont legislature authorized use of education property tax increment and has extended the debt and retention periods for this District on several occasions.

The projects associated with the first ten-year debt period for the District totaled about $17 million dollars, and included development or improvements to the Westlake, Lakeside and College Street Parking Garages as well as Lake Street reconstruction, the execution of a purchase option for Urban Reserve land, and development of the Waterfront fishing pier. 

These public improvements encouraged substantial business growth.  The 1999 construction of the Lakeview Parking Garage resulted in the construction of the then Filenes (now Macy’s) as the anchor tenant for the Burlington Square Mall.  Westlake and College Street Garage improvements resulted in construction of the Marriot Hotel and Hotel Vermont as well as the refurbishing of the hotel on Battery Street (now the Hilton).  

Burlington voters have approved additional debt to pay for Burlington Bike Path improvements, the Waterfront Access North project, and public improvements to the City’s northern waterfront in support of a slate of projects selected through a Public Investment Action Plan (PIAP).

Act 54 (2009) extended the District's period to incur debt to January 1, 2015. Act 80 (2013) extended the District's period to incur debt to January 1, 2020, but did not extend the period to retain increment. Act 134 (2016) extended the period to incur indebtedness to June 30, 2021 and the period to retain increment to June 30, 2035 for three parcels to accommodate the redevelopment of the Burlington Town Center.  The extension is contingent on the City's submission to VEPC "an executed construction contract with a completion guarantee by the owner of the three parcels evidencing commitment to construct not less than $50 million of private development" on those parcels. In November 2016 voters approved $21.8 million in debt for infrastructure projects related to that project.

2015 Reconciliation Report
Revised Reconciliation Report

As of June 30, 2019:

Cumulative Public Investment: ≈ $28,545,396

Total Increase in Taxable Value: $84,044,452

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Megan Sullivan, Executive Director 

Abbie Sherman, Grant Program Manager

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Deane C. Davis Building, 6th Floor
Montpelier, VT 05620-0501

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