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County eyes tax breaks for firms

County commissioners issued support Thursday for economic developers’ most recent incentive to lure new industries – a property tax abatement program.

Monday, July 12, 1999

County commissioners issued support Thursday for economic developers’ most recent incentive to lure new industries – a property tax abatement program.

"It’s an effective tool for development," Ralph Kline told the board at its Thursday meeting.

The abatement boundary will be in Perry Township, at the former South Point Ethanol property, Kline said.

Similar areas have been declared in Ironton and Hamilton Township near Hanging Rock in hopes industry will take advantage of a tax break to locate a business there.

Already approved by township, village and school authorities, the tax break is not 100 percent, Kline said.

Only industrial property – not commercial or residential – will qualify for a 50 percent reduction of new property taxes on only new improvements in the qualified area, Kline said.

For example, if X Industry buys a piece of property carrying a $20,000 base tax per year, then constructs improvements that increase that tax to $40,000, then it will only pay half of that additional tax amount.

It’s total tax liability would be $30,000 – the $20,000 base tax plus half of the $20,000 extra.

"If it’s necessary to pass a resolution to entice industry into this county, then I’m all for it," commissioner George Patterson said.

Commission president Bruce Trent agreed, calling it a "win-win" situation.

State officials now must approve of the abatement agreement, Kline said.

In other action, commissioners:

– Voted to refer complaints of open dumping at New Hope Subdivision in Chesapeake to the county prosecutor and seek cleanup help for residents.

Resident Gene Fuller spoke on behalf of several property owners, complaining that out-of-state trucks and some area property owners have dumped trash on lots.

"We’re not making the mess but when the water comes up it’s put on our backs," he said, adding that environmental officials will require the landowner to clean up the trash, no matter who put it there.

Neighbors have also complained of landowners moving mobile homes in and out, in violation of building codes, he said.

The county is checking into the mobile home situation, and cleanup dollars or county dump trucks might be available, commissioners said.

Residents have a petition, volunteering to pick up the litter if the county can haul it away.

– Reminded the audience that a meeting with Indian Village Subdivision residents to discuss the takeover of their package sewer treatment facility has been set for 6:30 p.m. April 6 at Collins Career Center.

– Heard a report from Lawrence-Scioto Joint Solid Waste Management District director David Sheets about last week’s free pesticide collection sponsored by the district.

Lawrence residents properly disposed of 47 gallons of liquid and 44 pounds of dry pesticides, which would have cost them more than $2,000, Sheets said.

– Heard a report from human resources manager Les York about the Lawrence County Humane Society’s request to hire an attorney to prosecute animal cruelty cases.

Ohio law allows the group to hire an attorney, but commissioners wanted input from county prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr. before proceeding.

Collier indicated his office is more than willing to prosecute cruelty cases and will set a meeting with the Humane Society to discuss details, York said.