The West York school board unanimously approved a plan that will allow the owner of the West Manchester Mall to expand while receiving a limited tax break on the property.

According to the Tax Incentive Financing, or TIF, plan, the school district will continue to collect property taxes from the mall at the current value of $15.6 million, plus 30 percent of increased taxes generated from the improvements made to the property.

The remaining 70 percent of the increased revenue from property taxes will go into a tax increment fund earmarked to assist with paying for $3 million in improvements for an access road to the mall. According to a statement from the school district, the district will be entitled to 100 percent of all new tax revenue generated after the cost of the access road is covered.

Plan support: Before the vote, the board was encouraged to approve the plan by Darrell Auterson, president/CEO of York County Economic Alliance, who is the county's representative for the TIF preparation.

"It's all about jobs," Auterson said. "It's all about capital improvement."

Auterson said the mall redevelopment project will offer construction jobs and then others as retailers begin to open new stores in the renovated mall facilities.

The county and West Manchester Township must also approve the plan. Auterson said the goal is to have all the approvals in place by Jan. 23, and said early projections show the development could begin in March if the weather cooperates.

The board's approval is contingent upon an agreement with the owner that limits the company from appealing its tax assessment to a lower amount than the estimated assessment of the mall upon the completion of the improvements.

Under that agreement, the owner of the property will not be able to appeal a tax assessment to an amount lower than $50 million.

-- Reach Nikelle Snader at