Killington Scores Victory for Rutland County, Says Economic Developers | New
KILLINGTON — Some are hailing the city’s newly approved tax district as a victory for the entire county.
The Vermont Economic Progress Council announced Thursday that Killington’s application for a tax increment financing (TIF) district has been approved.
“It’s a good day for Rutland County,” Lyle Jepson, executive director of the Rutland Chamber and Area Economic Development (CEDRR) said Friday.
What a TIF district does is allow municipalities to repay infrastructure bonds using the tax revenue generated from the construction of that infrastructure.
In the case of Killington, the city plans to create a water supply system while improving Killington Road. The improvements are expected to add $285 million to the city’s big slate, generating $115 million in new property taxes over a 20-year period. The state education fund will raise $26 million, the city will raise $4 million for its general fund, and the remaining $84 million will be used to pay off debt incurred for new infrastructure.
This will be the 11th TIF district in the state, said Abbie Sherman, executive director of the Vermont Economic Progress Council.
The board approves or denies district TIF applications.
Sherman said the application process for a TIF district is long and there is a lot of planning and forethought before an application is even filed. There’s also a large amount of surveillance as they move forward, she said.
Killington received what’s called a “primary determination,” Sherman said.
“What that means is they have to submit what we call phase filings because they’re ready to go ahead with a project so we can review it again and make sure we can show that there’s has viability, and then they can go to voters,” she said. “And they’ll have to do that whenever they’re ready to go ahead with a project.”
Voters still have to approve any bonds the city takes out for projects, she said. The city is also responsible for these obligations whether or not the anticipated tax revenue materializes. Although there is a risk, the other TIF districts in the state have all been fairly successful, according to Sherman.
One of the city’s proposals will be a $62.3 million project to facilitate a private development known as “Six Peaks Village,” which includes a hotel, 35,000 square feet, according to the Vermont Economic Progress Council. of retail space and 323 housing units – condos, townhouses and single family homes.
“The idea of Six Peaks has been around since before I started at Killington Resort,” said Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort. “TIF approval is the first step in realizing the idea of a world-class resort in Killington. This new infrastructure will be a big step forward in supporting the year-round adventure that POWDR and Killington Resort have come together in. engaged, while providing much-needed additional accommodations in the area and additional options for our customers.
POWDR is the parent company of Killington Resort. It also owns the nearby Pico Mountain Resort.
Rutland County has room for another TIF district, she said, explaining that in 2017 the Legislature authorized the creation of six more. Killington is the third, but of those six, no more than two can be in the same county.
Rutland City has been busy working on a TIF district application.
Jepson, who is on Rutland City’s TIF committee, said the city hired White + Burke Real Estate Advisors Inc. to help with the request, the same company used by Killington.
Although the Killington and Rutland City projects are unlikely to be directly related to each other, they will likely help improve each other’s prospects, Jepson said.
“The installation of a public water supply system and the improvement of the road infrastructure are necessary bases for attracting new businesses and new residents to the city, which are necessary for our local economy to remain relevant. and continues to rebound from the impacts of the pandemic on our hospitality-based economy,” said Killington City Manager Chet Hagenbarth. “Without public investment, the city will continue to see the stagnant and declining Big List growth that has occurred over the past decade. Local financing of these investments without TIF would amount to doubling the rate of the municipal tax, which is too heavy for taxpayers to bear.
Killington is home to Killington Ski Resort, the center of the town’s economy and one of the region’s largest employers.
“Growing Vermont’s economy in every corner of Vermont has been a top priority of my administration, and meeting the basic needs of all Vermonters, including access to safe and clean drinking water, is a critical component,” Governor Phil Scott said. “Improving public infrastructure such as water systems and roads opens up new growth opportunities for a community, and I am delighted to see Killington accepted into the TIF program to begin this important work.”
Jepson said that while establishing a TIF district is not a quick process, Killington came together relatively quickly. He praised city leaders for conducting an open and transparent process and communicating well with residents. He believes that if Rutland City follow a similar path, their eventual TIF application will be successful and the work it enables will lead to good things.