Great Pond Village to seek 'special tax district' status

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Fri., Sep. 9, 2011
Crews are beginning to tear down old buildings at 2000 Day Hill Road. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.
Crews are beginning to tear down old buildings at 2000 Day Hill Road. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.

Utilizing special legislation, the developers and property owners of Great Pond Village will seek to gain “special tax district” status, in order to generate revenue to help pay for infrastructure improvements to stimulate growth in the development. Windsor Town Manager Peter Souza said the special taxing district is done through special legislation through the Connecticut General Assembly and is specific to the areas that towns and cities apply for.

“There are approximately 250 of them in the state,” said Souza. “This is not unique, but you don’t see them everywhere. They also range in size.”

The special district will isolate tax money generated through the growth of the property. Two property owners at 2000 Day Hill Road are seeking to develop the 650 acres into Great Pond Village, a multi-use development that will have housing, businesses and park facilities, according to a proposal presented in July by town officials.

Souza said the property currently garners about $200,000 in tax revenue that goes to the town’s general fund as anticipated revenue.  As developers make improvements to the property, any tax money raised by the property when its value increases will be returned to the developer to build the initial infrastructure, including roads and drainage.

During the course of the multi-phase development, it is projected to raise millions of dollar in tax revenue, Souza said. The special taxing district will help the developers of the land pay for the infrastructure needed to sell homes and allow access to the area. “It’s a very unique way of financing the improvements,” said Souza. “If the town tried to build the roads and drainage, we would not have the money to do that. This special taxing district will allow the developer to get the funds to build up the area, and it will help stimulate the growth there.”

The special district will have limits on money raised for infrastructure and will likely only last a finite number of years before all property tax money from the area goes to the town’s general fund. “It’s a great incentive to help the area get developed,” said Souza.

Great Pond is expected to be developed in increments. The incremental rise in property taxes will help for each subsequent phase of the development, Souza said.

The Town Council agreed to call a meeting with the owners of Great Pond to finalize an interlocal agreement to create the special tax district.

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