City of Burlington, Vermont City of Burlington, Vermont

CEDO / City Hall Room 32
802-865-7144 / cedofd@burlingtonvt.gov
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Tax Increment Financing

Welcome to the City of Burlington's official online resource for Burlington's two TIF Districts: the Waterfront TIF District and the Downtown TIF District. On this site, you will find information ranging from general educational information such as, "What is TIF?" to specific information such as how local developers can get involved in the future development within the TIF Districts, and how Burlington's residents can remain informed about Burlington's TIF Districts. 

TIF is not the simplest topic, and there are a variety of myths surrounding TIF. Here is the main point about TIF that all Burlington taxpayers should know:

The purpose of a TIF District is to stimulate economic development and fund public infrastructure and/or public facilities. TIF is designed to have tax increment revenue fund improvements, not increase taxes.  The infrastructure built in the TIF district is intended to help support the growth of the tax base within the district over the life of the district.  This allows the city to use increment (the increased tax revenue generated by this growth) to retire any debt associated with the construction of improvements without directly impacting individual taxpayers in the district. If the City does not utilize the tax increment revenue to fund improvements here in Burlington, at the end of the life of the district the city will return the majority of funds back to the State of Vermont to be used elsewhere.

Example of a Successful TIF

Burlington Waterfront TIF:

  • Waterfront TIF Grand List 1997 (Before TIF District) = $42,902,900
  • Waterfront TIF Current Grand List = $119,812,100
  • $76,909,200 = Waterfront TIF Incremental Increase

Burlington's residents have shown consistent support for building infrastructure in concert with new commercial development; on the waterfront, where Burlington's voters previously approved a TIF District, it resulted in these public improvements:

  • Lake Street Reconstruction
  • Urban Reserve Acquisition
  • Lakeview Parking Garage
  • Waterfront Fishing Pier
  • Lake Street Extension
  • Lakeview, Westlake and College Garages

You can download the before and after pictures of the waterfront here.