Springfield City Council President Orlando Ramos, At-Large Councilor Jesse Lederman, and Ward 1 Councilor Adam Gomez are responding to the “stop work” order issued by the City of Springfield at the Silverbrick Square project at 122 Chestnut Street. Councilors are asking SilverBrick to voluntarily abide by the provisions of the TIF Ordinance recently passed by the Council or forfeit their tax-break. The three Councilors voted against a $150,000 tax incentive for the project, which was approved in May.
“This is exactly why I voted against the tax-break for this project; and the very reason why I introduced the TIF Ordinance earlier this year” President Ramos said. “I was concerned about the developer’s chosen contractor, and their history of violations. I want to make sure that tax-breaks are given only to developers who use responsible employers.”
The City Council passed a TIF Ordinance on July 16th which requires any developer who receives a tax-break to hire responsible contractors. The Ordinance was vetoed by Mayor Sarno, and the City Council overrode the veto in September. Had the TIF Ordinance been in place and expanded to include Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP), city could have pursued revocation of the tax incentive due to non-compliance.
“This is a prime example of why the City Council must exercise our oversight authority to ensure that in this time of unprecedented economic development such development remains responsible, especially when tax-payer dollars are involved,” said At-Large Councilor Jesse Lederman. “The developer should prove to the tax payers and the city that they will put an end to this by voluntarily adopting the provisions we laid out in our legislation earlier this year.”
“What’s done in the darkness comes to light sooner or later; unfortunately, bad practices were exposed quickly” Councilor Gomez added. “This deal needs to be re-evaluated because I will not let the constituents of my ward and the taxpayers of Springfield continue losing. Adopt our recommendations or forfeit the tax incentive!”