Councilor Ray Mitchell has filed a resolution that would ask the state legislative delegation to consider a change in guidelines so cities and towns would have a means of recouping money from companies that do not fulfill the terms of their TIF agreements.
It’s funny a few weeks before Christmas I expressed the same basic thought to a friend. There should be some sort of safety clause that allows cities and towns to collect whatever money was “saved” from companies that fail to live up to their end of the deal. Honestly I don’t even think it’s the first time I’ve had that thought. And really, I bet most of you have thought the same thing too.
You know why? Because it makes sense! When a community like Fall River enters into a TIF agreement it’s basically giving up future gains in taxes in order to spur development and future benefit. I don’t think a city or town enters into a 5 year TIF agreement to secure 5 years worth of employment for its residents. I think the idea is if the city forgoes collecting taxes over a certain time period with the idea that is will enjoy the benefits of that development long after that time period has elapsed.
Lefty’s View: It seems obvious that if a business fails to meet its end of the bargain it should payback the benefit it received from entering into the TIF agreement. The really amazing thing about what Councilor Mitchell is suggesting is that it’s not something that is already in place.