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Allenstown voters will consider proposed tax exemption for businesses at Town Meeting

By MELISSA PROULX
Union Leader Correspondent

January 10. 2018 11:40PM




ALLENSTOWN — Voters will be asked to consider a warrant article that would allow for a tax exemption for new businesses coming to town, or those looking to renovate or add to their space.

If approved, the new program would go into effect April 1, 2018, shortly after the town meeting vote. The tax break wouldn’t apply to the property tax as a whole, but the increase in the assessed value that results from new construction.

The exemption would be confined to a 10-year period. During the first two years, the business would pay 50 percent of the increased assessed value.

From there, that drops down 10 percent until it’s zeroed out after a decade.

For example, if a $1 million business were to come into town, it would pay $32,110 in taxes every year, based on the current tax rate.

Based on the proposal, the business would instead pay $16,055 in taxes for the first two years. As long as everything else stays stable, this would mean that taxpayers would be paying that much less collectively during that period.

As the years pass, the town would collect $3,211 in additional revenue after the first two years as taxes increase for the business. By the end of the decade, the business would no longer have any exemptions, but will have saved $96,330.

The hope is that this would help to draw more businesses to town to stimulate economic growth and offset the tax rate.

Only commercial and industrial businesses can take part in the exemption. Examples include manufacturing businesses, lumber yards, recycling facilities and veterinary hospitals.

The town’s Economic Development Committee drafted the proposal that’s going to be put forth during Town Meeting.

“It’s already been approved by the (selectmen) to go on the warrant,” said Town Administrator Shaun Mulholland.

This isn’t the only option that businesses can take advantage of, however. Allenstown adopted the Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive RSA 79-E years ago.

This tax incentive means that though the owners will be taxed on the current assessed value of the building, they won’t be charged extra if the value increases with the upgrades. This incentive is only for businesses in a specified zone in town.

The goal of the program is to encourage downtown businesses in the state to invest in and use underutilized buildings.

Already, one business — the Riverbridge Apartment Rentals — has taken advantage of that program.


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