Mayor: Downtown Project Requires Tax Help

Mayor with Harbor Place drawing

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini admires architect's rendering of Haverhill Place.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini Tuesday asked the Haverhill City Council to take advantage of a state tax break designed to encourage housing in downtown areas in order to move the Harbor Place project on Merrimack Street forward.

The tax break, known as an Urban Center Housing Tax increment financing (TIF) was enacted by the State to encourage developers to encourage market rate housing in urban areas where the cost of construction is high and where it is uneconomical to build.

In proposing a TIF plan for Harbor Place, Fiorentini said, “Building downtown where we already have the infrastructure—the roads, the water, the sewer, and our most important asset, the river — preserves our open space and beauty of the outskirts of Haverhill.  The Urban Center Housing TIF is designed to encourage that type of growth.”

Under the TIF proposed by the mayor, the developer would be exempt for some of the increased taxes for the improvements to the site for a limited period of time, but the city would never receive less in real estate taxes than they are receiving today. After 12 years, the project would pay full taxes.

In his letter to the city council, the mayor also said that he would be proposing a parking agreement and an easement agreement to move Harbor Place forward.

One thought on “Mayor: Downtown Project Requires Tax Help

  1. So Mr Mayor tell me something…Is this new Harbor Place going to turn into section 8 housing, just like the other apartments downtown have?…… Great move, now you have to either hire more police to handle the crime, as the drug problems in the city soar to record highs!! Oh wait, maybe there will be more state funding for the problems this is going to create!!