Hoffer Says Towns Should Pay Back Some TIF Money

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The state auditor says cities and towns that have special economic development tax districts should return some of the money they owe the state.

Several towns that have "tax increment financing districts" have been told that they retained more of the state education property tax than they should have.

Last week, Governor Peter Shumlin announced the state should forgive the taxes owed by the so-called TIF (tiff) districts.

Speaking Monday on Vermont Edition, Hoffer explained that he doesn’t think the state should "wipe the slate clean."

"The idea of total forgiveness raises some troubling issues," Hoffer said. "For example, what does it say about the incentives to comply with the law? If there’s some reason to believe that if you make some serious mistakes you’ll be forgiven later."

Hoffer says there were ambiguities in the statutes governing TIF districts, and some of those points have been clarified.

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