- Associated Press - Sunday, June 4, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A Bismarck program that provides tax exemptions and credits to both residents and businesses for revitalization and redevelopment activities is expiring in July.

The city’s downtown Renaissance Zone was granted a 15-month extension by the North Dakota Department of Commerce to allow clarification during the legislative session on the state laws governing it, The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/2rAzXoB) reported.

After the session, lawmakers said letters from the county, schools and park board would need to be submitted for the program’s continuation.

Brian Ritter is the Bismarck-Mandan Development Association’s president. He says the association will be hosting a public meeting June 7 to answer questions.

Rikki Roehrich, of the State Commerce Department, says she’s been working with the Legislative Council to determine whether Bismarck could bring the program back at a later date if it’s not renewed.

Last year, the Burleigh County Commission voted unanimously against renewal while the Bismarck School Board and the Bismarck City Commission approved renewal.

“I think (the commission’s position) is pretty clear since the commission voted unanimously to not send a letter of support,” Commissioner Brian Bitner said. “I don’t know of anything that has changed that position.”

Bitner said the commission’s lack of support is due to zone overlapping with other economic development incentives.

The city has used the Renaissance Zone Program since 2001. Bismarck has approved 115 projects from the program that have increased property values.

Fifty-eight cities in North Dakota have Renaissance Zone programs.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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