• Montpelier grants several abatements
    By Amy Ash Nixon
     | July 10,2014
     

    MONTPELIER — The city’s Board of Abatement recently approved four abatements connected to commercial properties, and in so doing abated a higher amount than what usually is forgiven in a year from the tax rolls.

    According to Tax Collector Beverlee Pembroke Hill, three of the four abatements are related to the city’s purchase of property for the 1 Taylor St. project.

    City Clerk John Odum said most of the recent abatements granted by the board — a total of $12,387 — are associated with the city’s purchase of three properties connected with the Carr Lot redevelopment project.

    “The yearly tax bill is out there, but the city got the property, so that outstanding tax is on the books, even though it’s now owned by the city,” explained Odum. “This is the way to get that tax money off the books.”

    The Board of Abatement convened June 25, where the four requests came before the 25-member board. (Only about a dozen were on hand.) They all were unanimously approved.

    The four abatements were granted to the Black Door Bar & Bistro, in the amount of $95.82; the Vermont Association for the Blind, in the amount of $5,672, or $2,838 per installment for February and May 2014; TKS Properties, a parking lot at 16 Main St., which received an abatement $2,917; and the Carr Lot, at 1 Taylor Street, receiving a $3,700 abatement.

    According to Hill, the Black Door abatement for less than $100 had to do with an adjustment to a personal property tax.

    “The other three have to do with properties acquired by the city in connection with the Carr Lot,” Hill said.

    The city has accquired the Carr Lot and several adjoining properties as part of the undertaking of a public-private redevelopment project of the site at 1 Taylor St. formerly known as the Carr Lot. The project is designed to create access for a bike path and pedestrian bridge, river access and public outdoor space, along with the multi-modal transit center housed on the first floor of the complex and several floors of private development above the transit center. It will be built and owned by Redstone, the Burlington commercial real estate development company with whom the city has partnered.

    According to Hill, the abatements connected with the city acquisitions are “rare, as the city doesn’t usually buy a lot of property in a year.” This past year, however, the Taylor Street project saw much more investment in real estate by the city.

    “On the date the city acquires the property, it is no longer taxable per law,” she said.

    However, because these properties were on the grand list, they were billed last July and the owners then paid the taxes up until the date of sale, Hill said. “We had to clear the taxes that were on our receivables as a result of the city now owning the property.”

    In a more typical year, the city forgives only about $100 a year in abatements, Hill said.

    The city bought the Vermont Association for the Blind building in December, the TKS Properties parking lot in October and the Carr Lot in early 2014.

    amy.nixon@timesargus.com

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