Tradepoint Atlantic, the developer of the old Bethlehem Steel site in Sparrows Point, plans to ask Baltimore County for up to $150 million in tax increment financing, also known as a TIF.
The developer says it needs the financial help from the county for roads and water and sewer systems.
Under the proposed TIF, the increased taxes Tradepoint Atlantic would pay as the property develops would not go into the county’s general fund, but instead would pay off the bonds used up front to help finance infrastructure on the 3,100 acre site.
Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler said the county has hired a consultant to evaluate whether a Tradepoint TIF is a good investment for taxpayers.
"We won't do anything that's not good for the county," Mohler said. "And at the same time we recognize that Tradepoint is a very important economic development initiative for us."
Mohler said that review should be completed this fall. Any TIF would have to be approved by the County Council.
In a statement, Tradepoint Vice President Aaron Tomarchio said, “We can’t do this alone. To realize our vision for Sparrows Point in a reasonable time frame, we need to partner with Baltimore County to build the critical public infrastructure and utilities needed at the site.”
TIFS can be controversial. That was the case two years ago in Baltimore City when the city agreed to a TIF totaling more than $600 million for the development of Port Covington.
Tradepoint Atlantic expects its redevelopment of Sparrows Point will lead to nearly 20,000 permanent and construction jobs.