Tax incentive for new construction (Belleville Telescope)

RPHomesGraphic1Tax incentive for new construction (Belleville Telescope)

County changes Neighborhood Revitalization to make participation easier

By Deb Hadachek
Telescope editor

Republic County Commissioners passed a resolution Monday to make two significant changes to the Neighborhood Revitalization Program.

Projects that qualify for NRP receive a property tax rebate on a sliding scale over the next five years for that new construction. Construction must increase the appraised value of property by at least $30,000 to qualify for a tax rebate of 95 percent the first year, 90 the second, 70 the third, 40 the fourth, and 20 percent the fifth year. Since the NRP was established in January 2011, 27 projects in the county have qualified for the program, increasing the incremental market value of county property by $1.9 million. The program is available for any private home, farm and business construction.
Under the amended resolution which went into effect Monday:
•Property owners must apply for the NRP prior to the start of construction, but are no longer required to make application at least 30 days before construction starts.
•And two, property owners will no longer be limited to just one NRP project at a time. If they add more new construction during the five year period of their first contract, the new project will also qualify for NRP.

“The whole purpose (of NRP) is to encourage construction,” said county commissioner Linda Holl.

Prior questions

The proposal to change in the 30 days waiting period came Monday morning when Belleville businessman Brian Callaway told the board he plans to erect a new facility for his Pioneer Seed business just east of Belleville. Callaway said he just completed the purchase of the Town and Country Feed Store, which will continue to operate, he said. Construction of the building for his seed business could begin as early as this week.

“A (Belleville) city councilman told me I needed to apply for Neighborhood Revitalization before construction started,” he told commissioners. “I found out about this program three weeks ago, and came in a week ago– and then found I needed to make application 30 days prior.” Callaway said with seed distribution beginning April 1, construction on the 50×70’’ steel building needs to start as soon as possible.

“I am negligent that I didn’t keep myself up on the programs that are available,” Callaway said. “I’m just asking if it’s possible for me to be able to participate in the Neighborhood Revitalization, I can do that.”

Commissioners were already considering a proposed change to NRP that would allow a property owner to qualify for NRP more than once if they continue to add construction.
County appraiser Barry Porter suggested commissioners also eliminate the 30 day waiting period at the same time.
“I have always thought that requirement was a little silly,” he said. “All I need to know is have you started or haven’t you?”

Porter said he still believes the applications needs to be made prior to the start of construction “or you’ll have people who built a building a year ago trying to qualify for the program,” he said.

Commissioner Marvin Bergstrom said he regrets Taxes/ Property owners still unaware of tax rebate program started in county in 2011 for new construction that other projects that
would have qualified for NRP with the changes did not, “but don’t get me wrong–I’m highly in favor of any progress.”

Luke Mahin, Republic County Economic Development director, said several previous projects that didn’t qualify were already under construction before the owners inquired about NRP.

Get the word out

Commissioners, Mahin and Porter said they believe there are more projects under consideration that would qualify for NRP– and more people who don’t know the program exists. Details of the program and application are available on the Republic County Appraiser’s section of the county’s website, and information
on this and other programs are available from the Republic County Economic Development office, 785-374-3047. Mahin said he would also make copies of the NRP information for local banks and other related businesses to distribute to customers who may be thinking about construction projects.

“If we could get a contractor to come in here and build spec houses, this program would be really helpful,” Holl noted. “It gives them time to get a house built and sold, and the NRP transfers to the new property owner for the remainder of the five years. “It’s a win-win situation for everybody.”