Redevelopment Incentives Possible For Brighton
At the Special City Council Study Session on February 21, Community Development staff presented the Commercial Rehabilitation Act as a local redevelopment tool for the City to utilize in order to increase investment and economic growth in Brighton. The purpose of this state legislation is to increase the current tax base of local governments by providing incentives for businesses to develop and rehabilitate obsolete sites, as well as provide employment opportunities for local residents. Council directed staff to conduct further research into the Act and draft a tax abatement policy.
Under the Act, local governments may create a Commercial Rehabilitation District that is no smaller than three acres, must contain properties that are 15 years or older, and be either zoned for or have been used for, a commercial purpose. Tax abatement, or a property tax exemption, may be granted for commercial properties within this district. The tax abatement will only exempt the rehabilitation of a facility from future taxation. Local governments may determine specific criteria for businesses to qualify for an abatement, as well as abatement duration. Tax abatement programs reduce or eliminate the amount of property tax owners pay on new construction, rehabilitation, and any major improvements; however, they do not completely eliminate taxation.
Following up on this issue at last week’s City Council Study Session, Community Development staff presented their draft tax abatement policy with Council seeking input and consensus for moving forward. Council asked staff to make minor adjustments to the draft policy and to conduct research into other community policies to ensure the City’s policy will be competitive in retaining and attracting business enterprises.
Community Development staff also proposed that the City request development proposals for city-owned parcels; one of particular interest is the North Street parking lot, located at the western corner of North and West Street. Staff discussed the idea for the surface parking lot including a condition that any development on the existing lot would be required to increase the amount of public parking currently available in Downtown. City Council was open and receptive to the idea and directed staff to work with the City Attorney to draft a bid document, which would seek letters of interest for the development of city-owned parcels.
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