Auditor Says Burlington Mismanaged TIF Fund

06/08/12 6:06AM By Kirk Carapezza

Vermont's State Auditor says the City of Burlington has mismanaged a complicated financial tool designed to help spur economic growth, and that the City should reimburse the state education fund.

For years, municipalities in Vermont have used Tax Increment Finance districts, or TIF districts to make important public investments without burdening property taxpayers. 

In a report released Thursday, Auditor Tom Salmon says the city did not always administer its TIF district on the Lake Champlain waterfront according to statutory requirements.

The money generated in a TIF district can be used to make improvements to public facilities. State law allows cities and towns to keep up to 75 percent of the incremental increase in state education property taxes that would be generated by new development.

But Salmon says Burlington retained $1 million that should have been repaid to the state education fund.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger disagrees with that allegation.

He also says the city will continue to work with the state to ensure that all future funds generated in the TIF district are properly used to benefit Burlington's businesses.

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