Neighborhood Revitalization Program / ROZ Program Updates

Republic County Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP)

By Luke Mahin­­­­

Read our monthly articles in The Belleville Telescope and The Courtland Journal.

RCED helped establish the Republic County Neighborhood Revitalization Program that began January 2011 and enrollment goes until 2016. The program encourages renovations, additions, and new construction of commercial, residential, agricultural and industrial property in the county. In the NRP program the property owner receives a 5-Year tax rebate of 95%, 90%, 70%, 40%, & 20%, respectively – for those who are current on taxes and whose investment in the property creates more than $30,000 increase in the properties appraised value.

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Reinke Manufacturing used the NRP Program on their new facility in Belleville in 2013.

For a temporary “investment” by a City of the tax rebate, in return the City gets better and newer properties, as well as growth in the local economy and growth in the property tax base as the rebate declines over 5 years. This is a great way to encourage people to build new houses in the county, renovate and add additions to their properties, and improve commercial properties, etc. It has also helped developers where they have a tax break in the beginning stages of a development.

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Richard Lindberg Construction used the NRP when he built the multi-use Nex-Tech, JenRus Freelance, and Ag Marketing Partners office in Courtland.

According to Republic County Appraiser, Barry Porter, since 2011 the total number of applications is 32 and the total number of projects complete and receiving rebates is 20 as of August 16, 2013.   The total incremental market value added by those 20 projects to date is $1,910,500. Actual construction costs for these projects are not available until projects are complete. Applications can be found at the RCED office,  Republic County Courthouse or downloaded here.

This program has provided Republic County businesses and citizens with a valuable incentive to those who are improving a properties appraised value.  During a time when constructions costs are rising it’s harder for businesses to justify new construction on a tighter budget. This incentive allows a rebate to their full property taxes which helps promote growth in their bottom line for the first 5 years after their investment. This program, with others, demonstrates that Republic County is willing to invest in local business expansion by creating a business environment geared towards long term economic success.

Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) Student Loan Repayment Program Update

EMPLOYER-SPONSORSHIP OF ROZ APPLICANTS

ROZ Student Loan Repayment Guidelines Final FY2014

The Department of Commerce encourages ROZ Counties to partner with local employers to sponsor individual ROZ applicants.  Employers are allowed to sponsor their employees and/ or hiring candidates for ROZ.  This would mean the employer would provide the necessary ROZ funding for the ROZ County’s share of the annual payment ($1,500 per year for 5 years).  Sponsored ROZ Participants are not subject to the “first-come, first-served” rule that is applied to the general applicant pool. ROZ officials recently approved self-employed people to sponsor themselves in the program as well. For information from Kansas Department of Commerce visit www.kansascommerce.com/rural/. Please contact the RCED office for more information to sponsor an employee in the program.

PRIVATE DONATIONS FOR COUNTY ROZ MATCHING FUNDS

ROZ Local Funding Initiative Guidelines

The Department of Commerce encourages Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) Counties to partner with local non-profit foundations to establish “ROZ Funds” to which private donations can be made.  Donations to a ROZ Fund would then be utilized for the general ROZ applicant pool according to the established procedures. *Republic County funds our ROZ program by donations with no tax funds going to the county portion of the ROZ Student Loan Repayment Program. In February 2013 RCED set up a fund with the Republic County Community Foundation to accept donations to our local ROZ program. To date we have received $3,000 in donations and look to raise more. Currently we have accepted two applicants in the ROZ program and now 3 are on the waiting list until funds can be raised. We expect to have potentially 3-6 more by the end of the year. If you wish to support young educated people returning to our county please donate to the Republic County ROZ Fund by contacting the RCED office or Tim Gottschalk and with the RCCF.

23 COUNTIES TO JOIN THE CURRENT 50 IN ROZ PROGRAM

FAQs on ROZ Expansion

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Please visit our website www.republiccountykansas.com or Facebook Page www.facebook.com/RCEDC for more information.  If you have questions for RCED contact Luke Mahin at rcedc@nckcn.com or call 785-374-3047.