BRUNSWICK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Town officials in Brunswick are at odds with the group working to redevelop the former Navy base... And the issue is property taxes.
Leaders of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority had been negotiating with the town of Brunswick to create what's called a "TIF" -- a tax increment finance district. It would return part of the property tax money paid by tenants at Brunswick Landing to be used for maintenance and other improvements there.
But last week the Brunswick Town Council voted to end the TIF negotiations.
Town Manager Gary Brown says the council is concerned about the budget, especially the increase in local school costs. And he says Brunswick wants a seat on the redevelopment authority board--- something its been trying to get for several years. Brunswick Landing officials say the loss of the TIF deal will cost them about 100-rhousand dollars this year. MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque says they will find other revenue and savings to make up for the loss.
Town Manager Brown says he and the Council support the MRRA, and that their gripe is basically with the state. He says the Governor appoints members to the MRRA board, and that the Governor has been unwilling to choose a town official to sit on that board. Brown also says that earlier this year, the Governor and Legislature were talking about having the state take control of 80% of the property tax money from Brunswick Landing. That plan never went through, but he says the town now worries the state may push through other TIF changes that will hurt Brunswick. He says holding onto the TIF negotiations is their only leverage with the state.