The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 005 : STATEWIDE TAX INCREMENT FINANCING(Cite as: 24 V.S.A. § 1894)
§ 1894. Power and life of district
(a) Incurring indebtedness.
(1) A municipality approved under 32 V.S.A. § 5404a(h) may incur indebtedness against revenues of the tax increment financing district at any time during a period of up to five years following the creation of the district. If no debt is incurred during this five-year period, the district shall terminate, unless the Vermont Economic Progress Council grants an extension to a municipality pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. However, if any indebtedness is incurred within the first five years after the creation of the district, then the district has a total of ten years after the creation of the district to incur any additional debt.
(2) Any indebtedness incurred under subdivision (1) of this subsection may be retired over any period authorized by the legislative body of the municipality.
(3) The district shall continue until the date and hour the indebtedness is retired or, if no debt is incurred, five years following the creation of the district.
(b) Use of the education property tax increment. For only debt incurred within the period permitted under subdivision (a)(1) of this section after creation of the district, and related costs, up to 70 percent of the education tax increment may be retained for up to 20 years, beginning with the education tax increment generated the year in which the first debt incurred for improvements financed in whole or in part with incremental education property tax revenue. Upon incurring the first debt, a municipality shall notify the Department of Taxes and the Vermont Economic Progress Council of the beginning of the 20-year retention period of education tax increment.
(c) Use of the municipal property tax increment. For only debt incurred within the period permitted under subdivision (a)(1) of this section after creation of the district, and related costs, not less than 85 percent of the municipal tax increment shall be retained to service the debt, beginning the first year in which debt is incurred, pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(d) Approval of tax increment financing plan. The Vermont Economic Progress Council shall approve a municipality's tax increment financing plan prior to a public vote to pledge the credit of that municipality under subsection (h) of this section. The tax increment financing plan shall include all information related to the proposed financing necessary for approval by the Council and to assure its viability and consistency with the tax increment financing district plan approved by the Council pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 5404a(h). The tax increment financing plan may be submitted to and approved by the Council concurrently with the tax increment financing district plan. If no indebtedness is incurred within five years after the creation of the district, the municipality may submit an updated executive summary of the tax increment financing district plan and an updated tax increment financing plan to the Council to obtain approval for a five-year extension of the period to incur indebtedness; provided, however, that the updated plan is submitted prior to the five-year termination date of the district. The Council shall review the updated tax increment financing plan to determine whether the plan has continued viability and consistency with the approved tax increment financing plan. Upon approval of the updated tax increment financing plan, the Council shall grant an extension of the period to incur indebtedness of no more than five years. The submission of an updated tax increment financing plan as provided in this subsection shall operate as a stay of the termination of the district until the Council has determined whether to approve the plan.
(e) Proportionality. The municipal legislative body may commit the State education and municipal tax increments received from properties contained within the tax increment financing district for the financing of improvements and for related costs only in the same proportion by which the improvement or related costs serve the district, as determined by the Council when approved in accordance with 32 V.S.A. § 5404a(h), and in the case of an improvement that does not reasonably lend itself to a proportionality formula, the Council shall apply a rough proportionality and rational nexus test.
(f) Required share of increment. If any tax increment utilization is approved pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 5404a(h), not more than 70 percent of the State property tax increment and not less than 85 percent of the municipal tax increment may be approved by the Council or used by the municipality to service this debt.
(g) Adjustment of percentage. During the tenth year following the creation of the tax increment financing district, the municipality shall submit an updated tax increment financing plan to the Council which shall include adjustments and updates of appropriate data and information sufficient for the Council to determine, based on tax increment financing debt actually incurred and the history of increment generated during the first ten years, whether the percentages approved under subsection (f) of this section should be continued or adjusted to a lower percentage to be retained for the remaining duration of the retention period and still provide sufficient municipal and education increment to service the remaining debt.
(h) Vote required on each instance of debt. Notwithstanding any provision of any municipal charter, each instance of borrowing to finance or otherwise pay for tax increment financing district improvements shall occur only after the legal voters of the municipality, by a majority vote of all voters present and voting on the question at a special or annual municipal meeting duly warned for the purpose, authorize the legislative body to pledge the credit of the municipality, borrow, or otherwise secure the debt for the specific purposes so warned; provided that each request to pledge the credit of the municipality for the purposes of financing tax increment financing district improvements shall include the new amount of debt proposed to be incurred and the total outstanding tax increment financing debt approved to date.
(i) Notice to voters. A municipal legislative body shall provide information to the public prior to the public vote required under subsection (h) of this section. This information shall include the amount and types of debt and related costs to be incurred, including principal, interest, and fees, terms of the debt, the improvements to be financed, the expected development to occur because of the improvements, and notice to the voters that if the tax increment received by the municipality from any property tax source is insufficient to pay the principal and interest on the debt in any year, for whatever reason, including a decrease in property value or repeal of a State property tax source, unless determined otherwise at the time of such repeal, the municipality shall remain liable for the full payment of the principal and interest for the term of indebtedness. If interfund loans within the municipality are used, the information must also include documentation of the terms and conditions of such loan. If interfund loans within the municipality are used as the method of financing, no interest shall be charged. (Added 1985, No. 87; amended 1987, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 184 (Adj. Sess.), § 2c; 2007, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 56, eff. June 6, 2008; 2011, No. 45, § 15, eff. May 24, 2011; 2013, No. 80, § 4; 2013, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 8, 9, eff. June 4, 2014; 2017, No. 69, § J.3. eff. June 28, 2017.)