Vote on tax break for TripAdvisor

Special Town Meeting will convene on Dec. 3 to vote on a proposed tax increment financing arrangement with TripAdvisor Inc. that is aimed at encouraging the international online travel company to move its corporate headquarters from Newton to a parcel in the New England Business Center. It would be the first such tax-break arrangement approved by the town. TripAdvisor has outgrown its space in Newton, and is looking to build a 230,000-square-foot office building on a First Avenue site owned by Normandy Real Estate Partners, a developer that would build the facility, according to information posted on Needham’s website. Town officials and the Board of Selectmen, who unanimously approved the two-part TIF plan and agreement at their Nov. 14 meeting, hope TripAdvisor’s presence will lure other innovative technology companies to the business park alongside Route 128. According to Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick, the TIF incentive would reduce TripAdvisor’s property taxes over a 13-year period by approximately $1.8 million, while the town would gain more than $6 million in tax revenues that it would not have received without the project. If the plan and agreement are approved by Special Town Meeting, they would go before the state’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council on Dec. 9. The Special Town Meeting warrant and information about the proposal can be found at www.needhamma.gov.


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