Monmouth voters approved a ballot measure Tuesday that will add several vacant lots to a downtown tax increment financing district, expanding by almost 100 acres a set of properties that generate tax revenue specifically reserved for economic development purposes.

Monmouth residents approved the ballot measure during the election with a 1,429-902 vote, with another 73 voters casting blank ballots for the question, according to unofficial results.

Before Tuesday, the district consisted of a series of privately owned properties stretching along Main Street from U.S. Route 202 to Maple Street. The addition of five new properties — 1016, 1020, 1080, 1111 and 1133 Main St. — will allow the town more opportunities to collect tax revenue that it can set aside for economic development purposes, according to Town Manager Curtis Lunt.

“These are all vacant lots and they have potential to help the TIF zone to afford more people options to build structures to aid economic development,” Lunt said last month.

The town first established the TIF district in 2013 with the goal of promoting economic development along Main Street. At the time, Central Maine Power was building a substation and line expansion in Monmouth, a project that resulted in about $20 million in investment.

Collecting tax revenue in a TIF allows municipalities to use those funds for specific uses allowed under state law, including infrastructure, downtown revitalization or economic development projects. By sheltering such money in a financing district, municipalities avoid reductions in state aid to education and other negative tax effects that would occur if the new value in the district simply were added to the city’s total valuation instead of being sheltered.

One of the properties that will be added to the Monmouth TIF district, 1111 Main St., recently came into the possession of the owners of Chalky & Co., a Monmouth-based company that makes painting kits and markets them nationwide. The company outgrew its original headquarters and is planning to build a facility at the new site. An old building had stood on that site, but the Monmouth Fire Department burned it down during a training drill in August.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker


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