Tax credits approved: Money will allow Ace Building Systems to pay higher wages
SIKESTON -- Tax credits have been approved for the first Sikeston business under the Enhanced Enterprise Zone program.
The Missouri Department of Economic Devlopment has OK'd credits for $239,511 over a five-year period for Ace Building Systems LLC. The plant, which officially came to Sikeston over the summer, is located at 821 Wakefield Ave., and will be a manufacturing facility.
"This is an example of our successfully passed economic development bill at work," said Rep. Ellen Brandom.
To receive the tax credits, a business must apply for them. Simon Halliday, general manager and owner of the Sikeston plant, said he worked closely with Ed Dust, Sikeston's director of economic development, as well at the state department to fill out the application and receive the funds.
The tax credits are based on Ace Building System's projections for the creation of 29 new jobs, at an average wage of $35,862; and new investment of $4.78 million.
According to the Department of Economic Development, EEZs offer state tax credits, as well as local real property tax abatement, to Enhanced Business Enterprises. The tax credits can be applied to income tax, excluding withholding taxes.
Halliday said the tax credits will allow the company to pay higher wages. "It also helps us to accelerate our investment," he said.
Brandom noted that in order to qualify for some credits, a business doesn't necessarily have to be new. However, new jobs must be created that provide health insurance and pay at or above the county's average salary.
"It has been a rewarding feeling to watch and be a part of the progress happening in Sikeston," Brandom said. "The development and vision of private individuals and our civic leaders have been tremendous resources to help the community begin to put all the pieces of the economic development puzzle together and make the long term betterment of our community a reality."
Mike Heimrichs, senior project manager with the Missouri Department of Economic Development, noted that Sikeston was designated as an EEZ by the department on Jan. 20. It has participated in the previous enterprise program for a number of years. That program, however, was ended by the state after Dec. 31, 2004.
These zones are geographically based, he explained. "It's not all of the city of Sikeston, for example," Heimrichs said.
Some incentives are also provided by the city; and only certain types of businesses are eligible for the benefits.
There are now 41 EEZs established in the state, with Sikeston being the 25th to join.
Heimrichs said that this first designation doesn't really indicate how many more will follow. "It just depends on activity in general," he said.
Brandom hopes to see that happen, however.
"Everybody needs to be aware of these programs," Brandom said. "I'm doing my best to promote them."
Halliday urged that others applying for the tax credits remember that these things take time. For instance, his company applied for the credits more than a year ago.
"We were never sure whether it was actually going to happen," he said. "But it's certainly worthwhile, as long as you can afford to be patient."