Downtown TIF District




The purpose of the Downtown TIF is to promote economic and public infrastructure development in a portion of Burlington's Designated Downtown.

  • TIF is designed to have the tax increment revenue fund improvements, not increase taxes.
  • Burlington's Downtown TIF can fund stormwater, utility, streetscape, public parking, and transportation/pedestrian improvements.
  • The vote on Town Meeting Day in March 2012 did not authorize specific debt - but provided the City with the option of using TIF revenue to repay debt incurred.
  • Incurring specific debt will require a separate approval by voters or the City Council, depending on the type of debt.

The boundaries of the downtown TIF district, as shown in this map, is fully within the Central Business District and Designated Downtown, but does not overlap with the Waterfront TIF.

The properties within the Downtown TIF District have development or redevelopment potential and/or will benefit from public infrastructure investments in some capacity. Development or redevelopment stimulated within the district will provide employment opportunities, improve and broaden the tax base, and enhance the general economic vitality of the Burlington region. TIF is intended to enhance the Designated Downtown's attractiveness to potential developers, businesses, tourists, and residents. This, in turn, provides jobs and improves the local economy

On February 7, 2011, the City Council of Burlington created the Downtown TIF District.  Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) then approved the Downtown TIF District Plan on June 23, 2011.  For the full application and approval by VEPC, please visit VEPC's website at https://accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/programs/vepc.

By statute, the legal creation date for all TIF Districts becomes April 1 of the calendar year in which the district was created. The creation date for the Downtown TIF District is April 1, 2011.

The City will retain incremental property tax revenues for 20 years beginning with the year in which the first TIF infrastructure debt is incurred. Assuming City incurs first debt in 2015, the end date for retaining incremental property tax revenues will run through fiscal year 2035.

TIF Informational Sheet

Great Streets BTV

On October 25, 2021 City staff brought foward for consideration of the City Council a proposed amendment to the appproved projects within the Downtown TIF District. The proposal was to reduce the scope of work that was previously approved the the Vermont Economic Development Council (VEPC) and add two blocks of Main Street between Pine and Battery Streets as well as redefine work forthe  Ravine Sewer on the Gateway Block. Materials and supporting documentation for Council Action are found on Board Docs.
At the November 17, 2021 VEPC the City presented and received approval of the substantial change to the projects listed within the Downtown TIF District.
January 10, 2022 the City warned the first hearing to bring foward to the Voters authorization to bond for debt for design and construction of Main Street from Battery Street to Union Street and Upgrade/Relocate the Ravine Sewer, as well as authorize Related Costs to assist with the management of the district for the remaining life of the district.
       Public Outreach for Voter Authorization & Town Meeting Day 2022 includes:
       Neghborhood Planning Assemblies (NPA) - Presentation Materials: Slides
  • Ward 1/8 NPA (1/12/22)
  • Ward 2/3 NPA (1/13/22)
  • Ward 5 NPA (1/20/22)
  • Ward 4/7 NPA (1/26/22)

     Department of Public Works Commission - Presentation Materials within the Agenda Packet (1/19/22)

 January 24, 2022 the City will bring final DT TIF Bond Voter Authorization materials to the City Council for consideration to be placed on the 2022 Town Meeting Day Ballot, those materials can be found here.

DT TIF Remaining Projects
  • Great Streets BTV - Main Street Revitalization Project & Ravine Sewer Relocation/Upgrade. The work on Main Street is a total street reconstruction and improvement project from Battery Street to South Union Street with work on the underground water/wastewater/stormwater infrastructure to the surface streetscape, transportation infrastructure, gardens, seating, art, and lighting. Information on this project can be found at greatstreetsbtv.com. The Ravine Sewer Relocation/Upgrade will be a project coordinated and concurrent with the Main Street Revitalization Project to investigate and design either a reloation or upgrade to the ravine sewer that crosses several parcels between College Street and Main Street.
A Public Information Hearing on the Public Questions to be voted on at the Annual City Meeting will be held on
Monday, February 23, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in Contois Auditorium
City Hall, 149 Church St., Burlington, VT
The hearing will provide information on the all of the public questions that have been placed on the ballot, the full text of which can be found in the Meeting Warning posted in the City Clerk’s Office and through the City’s webpage http://www.burlingtonvt.gov/CT/Elections
               This will include the following Downtown TIF district question:
Click here to view the DRAFT Public Information Notice approved by Burlington Board of Finance on February 9, 2015 – scheduled for City Council on February 17, 2015


To fully activate the Downtown TIF District, Burlington made an application/ filing to the Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) as part of our approved Downtown Tax Increment Finance District in November of 2014. This application/filing is required as part of the process to receive VEPC’s approval of the specific development phases within the district before TIF public improvements can be made or TIF debt to finance those improvements can be incurred.  Burlington received VEPC approval to proceed on December 17, 2014.

Burlington City Council and Board of Finance met on the following dates to discuss the City’s application to VEPC and about placing a Downtown TIF District question on the March 2015 ballot for voters: November 10, 2014; January 5, 2015; and January 12, 2015.  Materials presented at these meetings can be found below as clickable pdfs:


On January 12, 2015, the City Council unanimously placed the following question on the March 3, 2012 ballot:

 “Shall the City Council be authorized to pledge the credit of the City to secure indebtedness or make direct payments for the purpose of funding one or more public improvements and related costs attributable to projects serving the Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, specifically:

(a) Main Street Streetscape Upgrades: (the two blocks between Church Street and Pine Street inclusive of all intersections) to include streetscape, stormwater, utility, lighting and transportation upgrades;

(b) St. Paul Street Streetscape Upgrades: (the two blocks between Main Street and Maple Street inclusive of all intersections) to include streetscape, stormwater, utility, lighting and transportation upgrades;

(c) Brownfields Remediation/Brown’s Court: relating to preparation of site for redevelopment;

(d) Marketplace Garage Improvements and Repair: as a supplement to other funding for this project;

(e) Related Costs: reimbursement for TIF eligible related costs incurred by the City for the creation, implementation and administration of the Downtown TIF District, including direct municipal expenses such as departmental or personnel costs related to creating or administering the district to the extent they are paid from the municipal and not education taxes and are otherwise reimbursed in accordance with law;

in a total principal amount not to exceed $10,000,000 (which will bring the total Downtown TIF District debt approved since the Downtown TIF District’s creation to $10,000,000), and to issue bonds, notes or make interfund loans for such purpose with the understanding that tax increment from the properties within the Downtown TIF District shall be pledged and appropriated for the payment of such indebtedness or direct costs of the improvements; and with the further understanding that the City may utilize more than the statutory minimum requirement of 75 % of all municipal increment, up  to and including 100 % of same, in meeting the financial obligations of the district?”

View Frequently Asked Questions for Downtown TIF March 3, 2015 Ballot Question.


Further Questions, Comments, Concerns

For more information on these and other issues, please contact one of the people listed below.

  • For general questions about Burlington's Downtown TIF District, please contact CEDO at 802-865-7144 or cedofd@burlingtonvt.gov
  • For legal concerns, please contact Burlington City Attorney's Office at (802) 865-7121.