A Bethlehem-based distillery to be opened by the owner of Franklin Hill Vineyards received approval today to be the first business in the state to use a new economic development incentive.
The Bethlehem Revitalization and Improvement Authority gave its unanimous approval to grant the distillery — which will be called Social Still — funding through the state’s City Revitalization and Improvement Zone. The designation allows state and local nonproperty taxes from new businesses in the zone to help finance new development within it.
Authority members debated today over how much of those taxes the business should get. The authority’s guidelines say the authority “strives” to give the developer 80 percent of the funding, an amount board member Ann McHale said is too low for such a unique project.