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Benefit districts on city agenda

By The Mercury

The city on Tuesday will continue work on updating its benefit district policy.

This discussion item is the only topic on the agenda of a work session at 5 p.m. No action will be taken at the meeting.

The city has used benefit districts to finance the installation of public infrastructure since the early 1960s.

The district is the geographical area where improvements (streets, water, sewer and stormwater) will take place. An area considered for the district could include, for instance, a neighborhood and shopping center.

City commissioners will discuss two forms drafted by City Attorney Bill Raymond that developers would need to fill out when applying for the creation of a benefit district.

The first form is “Certification Regarding Payment of All Outstanding Special Assessment and General Property Taxes to the City of Manhattan.” With this form, developers provide proof they are in “good standing” on paying taxes owed to the city.

The second form is the “Tax Disclosure Statement,” in which a developer lists any limited-liability companies, corporations, or other entities in which they have an interest greater than or equal to 20 percent.

The city could find whether a developer has created multiple entities and been late on tax payments by hiding the delinquencies via the use of different companies or entities.

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