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Laconia to offer tax incentives to industrial construction

Union Leader Correspondent

January 23. 2018 10:11PM

LACONIA - The City on the Lakes has adopted a new property tax exemption designed to help spur new industrial construction or enhancements to existing manufacturing-related businesses.

Signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu in June, RSA 78:81 allows municipalities to offer a 50 percent reduction in the local portion of the property tax rate for the added value of new, expanded or renovated industrial or commercial development, or both.

"I think this is a good decision on the part of the council to get this moving," said Ward 3 Councilor Henry Lipman after Monday's unanimous vote. He believes Laconia is one of the first municipalities to take advantage of the new law.

While the exemption can last a maximum of 10 years, the law gives municipalities the ability to set the percentage rate and the duration of the tax break, but mandates that it must be granted uniformly to all projects for which a proper application is filed.

The resolution endorsed by the council defines industrial uses to include all manufacturing, production, assembling, warehousing, or processing of goods or materials for sale or distribution, research and development activities, or processing of waste materials. The exemption rate was set at 50 percent and the duration at five years.

During its bi-monthly meeting, the council also learned that the city will receive an estimated $68,000 in federal funds as reimbursement for overtime costs incurred during the October storm.

In other business, Ward 6 Councilor Armand Bolduc, who has served more than three decades in Laconia government, was unanimously reelected as mayor pro-tem.

The auditor who recently completed a review of the city's financial records told the council that no material weaknesses were noted and that only a few recommendations were being made to improve efficiency and controls.

Pam Clark, who heads Celebrate Laconia that is overseeing the festivities as part of the observance of the 125th anniversary of the city's founding, said the next event will be a scholarship pageant to be held on Feb. 2 at the Community Center from 7 to 9 p.m. Six high school girls will compete for the title of Miss 125th and four junior high girls will vie for the Junior Miss 125th title. The official anniversary on March 24 will be celebrated at Pittman's Freight Room and will include a giant birthday cake and a gathering of past mayors. The celebration will continue in July with a parade and carnival.

The council also interviewed Peter Stewart, seeking appointment to the "registered architect" position on the Building Code Board of Appeals for a five-year term. The five-member board currently lacks a quorum and is unable to meet. The board reviews the appeal of decisions made by the code enforcement officer. The vote on Stewart's appointment will occur at the council's next meeting on Feb. 12.

The Lakes Region Sled Dog Club was granted its annual request to waive the license and vendor fees for the sled dog races to be held Feb. 16-18.

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