BOSTON-Legislation that would allow developers and landowners to create special development districts that would allow them to seize land, borrow money and charge taxes has been vetoed by Gov. Mitt Romney, who fears the new legislation would allow for the seizure of private property.

The legislation, which had already been approved by both the House and Senate, will return to those chambers for an override vote before the session wraps up, likely by the end of the week. Critics of the legislation say the bill would create private entities that have the power to seize private land.

But David Begelfer, chief executive officer of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, which sponsored the bill, tells that the legislation would actually spur redevelopment by allowing municipalities to make infrastructure improvements under a bond financing package that would be paid for through special assessments.

As part of the legislation, Begelfer says, at least 80% of the business owners in a “special development district” would have to approve the bond measure and agree to the assessments before a municipality can move forward with bonding the project. “This is just another way to get economic development going when monies are tight,” he says.

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