March is a busy month at the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) for approval of tax increment financing (TIF) districts and development programs. By statute, the valuation numbers that determine the amount of new project value that can be “captured” in a TIF district change on April 1st, so approval prior to that date is important for many TIF projects.
On March 27th, DECD issued final approval letters for three TIF projects involving Rudman Winchell clients:
- Bingham Wind Project – Somerset County unorganized territory. This TIF project involves 24 turbines out of a 56 turbine, 184.8 megawatt wind energy project to be built by First Wind in Somerset and Piscataquis counties. When constructed, the project will add $106 million to the tax rolls in Somerset County’s unorganized territories, plus additional new taxable value in the Town of Bingham and Kingsbury Plantation. Over the 30 year life of the TIF district, Somerset County will retain approximately $11 million in new property taxes for economic development purposes, plus an additional $6 million under a related community benefit agreement, which may be used for any county public purpose. Rudman Winchell represented Somerset County on this project.
- Hancock Wind Project – This 17 turbine, 51 megawatt First Wind project is located in the unorganized territories of Hancock County. The project will add $86+ million to the tax rolls in Hancock County’s unorganized territories. Over the 30 year life of the TIF district, Hancock County will retain $5.8 million in new property taxes for economic development purposes, plus $4 million under the related community benefit agreement. Rudman Winchell represented Hancock County on this project.
- Emera Maine Operations Center – This TIF project will assist Emera Maine’s construction of a new operations center and corporate headquarters in Hampden, Maine. The two phase project is estimated to cost $18 million. Over the first 20 years of the district’s life, contingent on construction of both phases, Emera will receive an average reimbursement of 45% of the new property taxes paid on account of the project, or about $2.6 million. Over the full 25 year term of the TIF district, the Town of Hampden will retain an estimated $4 million in new TIF and general fund revenues. Rudman Winchell represented Emera on this project.
Congratulations to Noreen Norton and Noreen’s new assistant, Lindsay Hoak, for shepherding these three applications through the final step in the TIF approval process! (And for Noreen’s earlier work on the same projects.)