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Article Published January 30, 2019

Old Saybrook Residents Approve TIF District

By By Aviva Luria

At a Jan. 22 public meeting, Old Saybrook residents approved the establishment of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district at Mariner’s Way, along with a master plan to oversee it. The meeting was the final step in a process that officially began with a vote by the Board of Selectmen (BOS) in September 2018 to create a policy allowing the town to create TIF districts.

Establishing a TIF district enables the town to set aside a portion of property tax revenues from the designated area for projects that will revitalize that area. The goal of establishing these funds is to attract private investment, which, in turn, could help increase property values. Increased property values result in increased tax revenue. It is 50% of that increase in tax revenue that is placed in the fund for possible renewal projects at the discretion of the town.

“Creating a tax increment financing district is simply a tool in the toolbox for the town when it is having conversations with developers,” said First Selectman Carl P. Fortuna, Jr. “A TIF district is a forward-thinking progressive economic tool. It is not a new tax, a tax abatement, or a special assessment.”

The Mariner’s Way TIF “could potentially expand our tax base by encouraging redevelopment, easing the pressure on residential property taxpayers,” he said.

Mariner’s Way is the eastern area of Route 1 between the town center and Ferry’s Point. The name was attached to the district as part of a 2014 Planning Commission study and plan for redevelopment of the district.

The next step will be to establish a TIF Advisory Board, which will oversee the funds according to guidance set out on their collection and use in the master plan.

Further information may be found on the town’s website,, by entering “TIF” in the search field.