Bow voters approve TIF district, $11.78 million budget

  • From left: Bow Moderator Peter Imes leads the meeting as town counsel Justin Pasay, select board Chairman Christopher Nicolopoulos and Vice Chairman Colleen Hunter thumb through papers during Bow's town meeting at Bow High School on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (NICK STOICO / Monitor staff) Nick Stoico—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 3/14/2019 12:06:33 AM

Bow voters breezed through the warrant at their town meeting Wednesday night with few questions and only a couple of amendments made to one article for clarity.

The meeting lasted just more than an hour and every article was approved. An $11.78 million budget got the green light from voters, about $100,000 more than last year’s budget, without discussion, said select board Chairman Chris Nicolopoulos. 

The municipal portion of the tax rate is projected to $7.83 per $1,000 of assessed property value, a drop of 26 cents (or 3.21 percent) from last year. That would mean a decrease of about $78 for a $300,000 home. The total tax rate will become clearer after the annual school district meeting Friday at 7 p.m. at Bow High School’s auditorium. 

There were questions, though not many, surrounding the TIF (tax increment financing) district laid out for a 284-acre plot on the Hooksett border along Route 3A.

At the polls Tuesday, voters approved a zoning amendment to make the area a mixed use district. Residents who attended Wednesday evening’s meeting also voted in favor of establishing the TIF district and granting administrative authority to the board of selectmen. 

Voters supported a TIF district in the Bow Mills area in the northern end of town last year.

Matt Taylor, Bow’s community development director, said an advisory committee made up of local business leaders will be created to help guide how funds will be distributed within the district.

A TIF district is designed to accelerate the expansion of the commercial tax base by improving the area through development and improvement projects, which theoretically would then attract more business to the area.

Here’s how it works: Consider the current value of the land in that district as the base. The land’s worth after the property in the district is improved is the “increment.” Taxes that are currently paid out to taxing entities – such as the school district, county, and state – will continue to be paid at the current rate, but the extra tax money generated from the higher assessed value can be used exclusively to further develop the area.

The largest lot in the district with the most potential for development is a 192-acre gravel pit owned by Continental Paving. Taylor said he has met with the owners and said they are figuring out how much gravel they can still mine on that property.

“They’re open and currently mining the site and they’re not sure how much gravel is left,” Taylor said. “(The TIF district) is kind of setting the groundwork for what could happen in the future.”

Taylor said the town would need to spend about $2.62 million to extend water and sewer lines to the Hooksett border to accommodate the increase in business development. This would be paid for primarily through the tax increment.

More noteworthy articles

A petition warrant article to increase the town’s tax credit to $4,000 for veterans living with a service-connected total disability was approved. The warrant was amended to move the article up from the 19th and final spot on the warrant to item No. 4, just after the town budget.

Voters allowed $548,000 to be deposited in various capital reserve funds for bridge and highway construction ($120,000), public works equipment ($180,000), fire department equipment ($37,000), police equipment ($30,000), recreation improvements ($16,000), municipal buildings and grounds ($65,000), and a fire truck ($100,000). These deposits in total add 47 cents to the tax rate.

An article asking for $370,000 for road repairs and paving passed. This article added 31 cents to the tax rate and is earmarked for road projects across town.

Voters approved an article seeking $38,892 for new police radios for officers and cruisers. This purchase uses money from a capital reserve fund and does not affect the tax rate.

An article seeking $675,000 for a new pumper truck for the fire department was passed by voters. This will be paid for through a capital reserve fund and does not affect the tax rate.




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