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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Enhanced Enterprise Zone is enlarged

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Commerce is still 'reluctant' to the larger zone

BENTON -- Spring flooding will mean a larger Enhanced Enterprise Zone for Scott County.

Joel Evans, county developer, updated county commissioners during their regular meeting Tuesday on his efforts to establish the county's Enhanced Enterprise Zone.

"I met with Oran last week; they signed off on it," Evans said. "Commerce is reluctant."

In addition to discussing the EEZ with officials in Commerce, Evans said he will also speak with officials from Kelso on Thursday.

"Since we were declared a disaster in the March flooding we were able to throw out income as a criteria and use the disaster declaration in its place," Evans said of the EEZ. "We went from having probably a third of the county eligible to having the vast majority eligible."

Governments are able to offer tax credits to new or expanding businesses that are located within an Enhanced Enterprise Zone as an incentive to locate there.

Evans said he expects to have the EEZ designation process completed by Jan. 1.

In other business Tuesday:

* There is already some confusion among Scott County residents about what an abatement of the county's property tax would mean.

During recent presentations to city councils and boards of aldermen for municipalities within the county, commissioners have shown actual property tax bills with the taxpayer's name and address blacked out to show exactly what will be abated if voters approve a half-cent sales tax for eight years.

The line item listed as "county" is the only property tax that would be abated, commissioners explained.

Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn said he is concerned that county residents would mistakenly expect to receive no tax bill at all from the county if the sales tax is approved.

"We don't have any control over the R-6 tax," Ziegenhorn said.

* Evans updated commissioners on efforts to secure federal loan assistance through the Bootheel Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission at Dexter for a business in the county that has had difficulties recently due to the economy.

"I want every effort put toward that," Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said. "We've got to get moving on that."

* Burger said he will ask the county highway department to look at the discharge area for pipes under County Road 523 as that area may need rip rap to keep loose soil from washing away.

The situation was brought to the commissioners' attention by a concerned county resident.