Last night was a work session, so there is no “done deal,” but several local developers (Scott Peck, Don Sheedy and Mike Pierson among them) urged the Burlington City Council to expand a proposed 10-year tax abatement program to the entire city, to make it more consistent and less divisive.
Jason Hutcheson of the Greater Burlington Partnership says the City lost population for 40 years, but a turnaround has begun, and he’d like to keep it going, with as many affordable incentives as possible.
One proposal calls for a 100% tax abatement for seven years, followed by 75 percent for the 8th year…50% for the 9th year…and 25% for the 10th…but that program is for the downtown and its surrounding area only. Those who are redeveloping lder property like that, but others who are building new houses and apartments on the city’s outlying areas would like the same benefits. The council agreed to vote on a lesser program separately.
On another subject, Mayor Shane McCampbell has proposed an earlier start-time for regular council meetings — 5:30 instead of 6:30…and it looks like he has the support to get it done. Councilman Tim Scott hates the idea. There will be a public hearing on the proposal before it’s decided.