• Mixed facts on TIF
    October 28,2013

    Mixed facts on TIF

    Why are we getting mixed “facts” about TIF?

    The Times Argus’s Oct. 18 Commentary was written by Barre City Clerk Carol Dawes, this week she wrote about TIF and “changing the ballot language” by deleting specific text for this upcoming Nov. 5 ballot. The wording that was deleted was about who is responsible for TIFs debt. The council has decided to delete ... “the city (taxpayers) liable for repayment of the indebtedness including all financing and related cost associated with such indebtedness regardless of weather the tax increment revenues (TIF) are sufficient for full repayment as required by law.”

    To me this reads that the property taxpayers of Barre City are ultimately liable for for the $2.2 million plus expenses.

    Also, in this week’s Times Argus, there was an article “TIF does not mean tax hike.” The city council fails to discuss “what If it happens.” Why hasn’t the council discussed, “what if TIF does fail?” The answer is in the text that the council approved to keep off our ballot and our taxpayers in the dark.

    Remember when we were told City Place won’t cost taxpayers any more tax increases, but it was noted in the news last week that the culvert next to City Place will cost nearly $200,000 with no idea where the money is coming from; this is also part of the $800,000 of unbudgeted expenses the city has accrued this year alone.

    It scares me to think that our public officials use TIF in the same sentence with words like “speculative,” “expected,” “assuming,” “roughly,” “taxes,” “incur,” “admittedly convoluted,” “finance 8 million dollars” to persuade the voters to vote to put over $2 million of debt to loom over the heads of our taxpayers. These are words of danger — liability, risk, guessing, reckless, unknowing, financial disaster, irresponsibility and, ultimately tax increases.

    We can not continue to operate our city in this manner, nor can we afford to spend money we just do not have.

    How many more years is Barre going to be Vermont’s leading No. 1 city with the highest property taxes?

    I strongly encourage you to vote no to supporting TIF. Barre can’t afford the risk.

    Robert Chartier


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