CONCORD — A House committee Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would allow a financing mechanism deemed critical for the redevelopment of the Balsams Resort.
The bill would enable Coos County to use tax increment financing to issue a $28 million bond for the Balsams. The bond would be paid back by taxes generated by the new development.
The House Municipal and County Government Committee voted 18-0 to send House Bill 540l to the full House, which is expected to take it up next week.
“If the bill passes the House, it will go to the Senate next. It is enabling legislation that would allow the county commissioners to negotiate a TIF district and other arrangements with the developers. The majority of the delegation members will have the opportunity to approve these agreements,” said Rep. Edith Tucker of Randolph, the bill’s prime sponsor.
The bill makes it clear that the county or the unincorporated place of Dixville “Under no circumstances … have any obligation of any kind to repay any of the principal or interest of the bond.”
It is estimated it could take 20 years to pay off the bond. Once the bond is retired, the tax revenues would go to the county.
“A six-member subcommittee of the Municipal and County Committee worked hard under subcommittee chairman Rep. Marjorie Porter, amending the Balsams bill so that several potential concerns were eliminated,” said Tucker. She noted that Rep. Henry Noel of Berlin is a cosponsor.
“The Balsams is very pleased with the unanimous committee endorsement of HB 540, which will simply allow an alternative mechanism to obtain financing. It is an important step forward and we hope the entire House and ultimately the Senate will agree that allowing Coos County to decide for itself whether to issue a bond, without a loan guarantee or any liability for taxpayers to repay it, is something that is good for the Balsams and ultimately the North Country’s economy,” said spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne, representing developer Les Otten.