After some “minor tweaks” are made to the wording, including removing all references to any TIF money being used for mine wash remediation --the plan will be distributed to the six members of the TIF committee, at which time it will become a public document.

It will be posted on the county, township and school district websites.

Feinberg said it is anticipated that East Penn School Board will be the first taxing body to vote on the TIF plan, as a resolution during its May 13 meeting.

The county commissioners will only review the plan on April 24, predicted Feinberg. She said it will be up for first reading as an ordinance at the commissioners’ May 8 meeting, with final approval expected at their May 22 meeting.

Lower Macungie is expected to act on the TIF plan in late May or early June.
Fogel is optimistic the school district, township and county will approve the TIF plan “because the TIF committee worked very hard to understand the project in great detail, and ultimately agreed to support the plan when we present it to their respective boards.

“The project is a one of a very few of its kind moving forward in the entire country, and we think the folks involved understand the tremendous positive impact it will have in the region.”

After all three taxing bodies have voted on the TIF plan, a public hearing will be scheduled, said Brockman. He added a Hamilton Crossings TIF district will be created about three weeks after that hearing.

No 60/40 split

The developers had proposed a 60/40 split, with the taxing bodies collecting only 40 percent of property taxes for up to 20 years, but the authority and its TIF committee wanted a 50/50 split, according to Brockman.

Fogel said: “We will have to work to secure funding from other programs and combine them with the TIF in order to secure the funding we need to allow the project to move forward.”

Brockman said 50 percent of the tax increment is projected to total about $703,000 a year once the shopping center is fully operational. That will double in the 21st year, when the local governing bodies keep 100 percent of the tax.

Brockman said the school district now collects $45,000 a year in property taxes on the site and the county collects $10,000. He said the school district will be getting $569,000 and the county will get $134,000. The school district and township also will collect much more in other annual taxes.

The Hamilton Crossings development team -- Tim Harrison of Staten Island, N.Y., and The Goldenberg Group of Blue Bell, Montgomery County – has agreements of sale to buy the property, most of which is owned by the Allentown Catholic Diocese.

Brockman said Costco and Target will own their buildings, parking lots and portions of entryways – totaling about 49 percent of the entire project. The developers will own the other 51 percent.

Brockman said the authority will issue and repay the TIF debt.

He said the property owners cannot appeal their assessed value over the 20 years of the TIF, or for as long as the TIF debt is outstanding.

The five authority board members at the meeting unanimously approved the TIF plan. Joining Feinberg in voting for it were Mark Bartholomew, Howard Lieberman, Bill Clements and Joanne Kuchera.