Local News, TIF

FAQs: Killington Forward

In response to comments and questions heard around town, on the slopes and at the public hearing, Jan. 30, the Killington Select Board answers questions on what voters need to know to be informed about Killington Forward before voting March 7 on Article 5.

What is Killington Forward?

Killington Forward is a comprehensive, multi-phased plan to develop municipal water infrastructure, rebuild an improved Killington Road, allow for the development of Six Peaks  Village, and lay the groundwork for workforce housing. It will be paid for by a combination of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as well as some grants and forgivable loans. On the March 2023 ballot, the town is asking voters to authorize, with a vote on Article #5, a not-to-exceed debt limit of $47 million ($26 million low interest loan and $21 million municipal bond) for Phase 1 of the project.

What is Tax Increment Financing (TIF)?

A TIF District is an area in which tax revenue generated from new development (in this case, the Six Peaks Village and Resort area) is utilized for public projects (in this case, water and road infrastructure) that support the private investment in the District.

Taxes from the original value of a property continue to go to the state Education Fund and Killington’s annual budget. The “increment” is the difference between the original value of the property and the developed value of the property. A portion of the taxes on the “incremental value” during and after development of the project can be used to finance “TIF Debt” right away.

Will voting for Killington Forward affect my taxes?

No. The water and road project in Phase 1 is paid for by a combination of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as well as a $2.3 million ARPA grant and a $3.6 million fully forgivable loan for emerging contaminants. The cost of the project will be paid for by property taxes incurred by the newly developed residential units and retail spaces of Six Peaks Village.

What financial protection does the Town have  if moving forward with a developer? 

The town spent much of 2022 negotiating a development agreement with Great Gulf (the Six Peaks developer) to secure the financing of this infrastructure investment. This agreement was vetted by the state (Vermont Economic Progress Council) and a third party economic consultant, who determined that this provides for municipal protection for a project this size. 

The development agreement states that Great Gulf will allow the town to raise the land value to the needed assessment to raise enough taxes to pay the bond. The taxes needed to cover debt service are proportionately very small for the scale of the Great Gulf business entity. 

The Development Agreement requires that the developer pays the taxes in order to pay for the bond, regardless of economic conditions. Conditions stay with the land regardless of the owner.

How will the town manage the long-term intricacies of TIF financial management? 

Killington’s Select Board created a new position specifically to manage the financial and accounting scope of this project. Mark DeCota was hired as the Finance Director in 2022. In the proposed FY24 budget, there is also an Assistant Accountant position recommended, pending the passing of Article #5.

Who will own the water infrastructure and will new users of the municipal water have to pay for it?

The town of Killington will be the owner of the water system. As with any municipal water system, each user (including Great Gulf) will be charged service fees to cover the operations and maintenance and will be responsible for their own individual connections to the transmission line. The capital cost of building the system will be covered by the TIF and grants and will not create any additional fee for users. 

Will I be consulted if the road construction or pipe installation affects my property?

The town will make every attempt to stay within its right of way. However, if permission is needed for impact to private property, the town will be in touch on a case by case basis. 

What are we doing about workforce housing?

Access to clean municipal water is critical for the development of any housing. In fact, affordable housing developers will not consider sites without municipal water and the cost of providing water makes the development of workforce housing unachievable.

The creation of this system will provide water down Killington Road to Ravine Road in Phase 1 and will open up eventual opportunities for parcels to be redeveloped or units to be added to existing properties. Meanwhile, the town also is taking further steps to ensure workforce housing will be secured on Killington Road. Details of these efforts will be announced in the coming weeks. 

How will parking be affected by the construction of Phase 1 and the ultimate development of the Village? 

According to Michael Sneyd of Great Gulf, every space at Killington Resort that is being displaced will be replaced. In addition, all new condo units will have underground parking. Four parking areas will feed lifts, and a system of shuttles will become even more readily available. 

How does the creation of new residential units in the village, which will primarily be second homes, help our community? 

There is a shortage of available housing at all price points around the entire state. In Killington, the problem has been magnified as second homeowners purchase the stock intended for year-round residents. This addition of housing supply at Six Peaks will ease the pressure both for residents and visitors.

Mike Solimano and Michael Sneyd have also indicated that Six Peaks Village will add new community gathering spaces, special events, and year-round retail and hospitality interest.

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