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Franklin council seeks development through tax incentives

Franklin’s city council has adopted two new tax incentives with the hope of spurring development in the downtown area and business district.

The first is a law that will allow the council to grant tax relief for structural improvements in the downtown area. The new law provides “a tremendous benefit to people who are willing to take a risk and renovate property in the downtown,” Mayor Ken Merrifield said.

The other is a Tax Increment Financing Plan for the Franklin Business District, which includes the industrial area on the west side of town and runs south along Route 3. In a TIF district, as investment grows and property values increase, a portion of that increased revenue is kicked back to the district for improvements. It’s meant to attract new businesses to the area, and has a two-fold advantage,said Jim Aberq, executive director of the Franklin Business and Industrial Development Corporation.

“It’s a financing tool for the city, but it’s also a marketing tool for us when we’re talking to prospects,” he said.

Merrifield called adopting these two tax incentives the most important thing that happened at the council’s February meeting.

KATHLEEN RONAYNE

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