Hopkinton contemplating tax incentive programBy MELISSA PROULX
Union Leader Correspondent
September 12. 2017 12:33AM
HOPKINTON — Town officials are looking at where in town to set up a zone for businesses to take advantage of a tax incentive program.
The task of choosing which part of town will get the designation for the 79E Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive Program will come at the recommendation of both the Economic Development Committee and the Planning Board.
The recommendation should come sometime in the near future.
The tax incentive allows business relief on any improvements that the businesses make to their property.
This means that, although the owners will be taxed on the current assessed value of the building, they won’t be charged extra if the value increases for five years after the upgrades are made.
More time can be added at the municipality’s discretion. For residential properties, this period lasts seven years and up to nine years if it’s affordable housing.
The locked-in value can also stay in place for nine years if the town deems the property of historic significance.
Residents approved using the incentive in town back in 2009, but didn’t say where it could be used.
“There wasn’t an actual designation in town for a district that will qualify for 79E,” said Selectmen Chairman Jim O’Brien.
Karen Robertson, the town’s planning director, said that since the town approved using the program, interest has been sparse. No one has applied to use it yet, and only a couple of businesses have inquired about it.
O’Brien said he believes the designation will most likely be given to Contoocook Village or Hopkinton Village.
“When this was brought up, it was assumed that it was for the downtown section,” he said. “... It probably has the biggest need for these types of investments.”
O’Brien said that this incentive can be important for towns, acting as a great way to motivate owners to keep up their property and maintain the overall historic aesthetic of the community.
“Especially in old village districts, I think that’s really important,” he said.