Biomass: Pay up or move out

Published 12:45 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2015

One has to wonder what makes Biomass owner Mark Harris think he can own property in Lawrence County without paying property taxes.

It certainly can’t be because he’s bringing viable jobs to the area. Biomass purchased the property in The Point industrial park in 1999 and as of today, the plan to build a 200-megawatt power plant still hasn’t been acted upon.

Whether economic downturn or poor business decisions be to blame for lack of development on the Biomass site, that certainly isn’t Lawrence County’s problem.

Taxes that were due back in 2011 remain delinquent on the site as well as those due for 2014. That’s just more than $20,000 owed.

Who suffers the most from this lack of responsibility is the South Point School District, which is due 69 percent of property taxes. The county, township, Collins Career Center, board of developmental disabilities and the health department also get shorted their due.

And this isn’t a new problem with Biomass. Two parcels were set for a foreclosure sale in January, but Harris paid the money at the last minute to stop the sale. Clearly the man can come up with money, so why can’t he meet his obligation on a regular basis like other businesses and residents?

It’s time Biomass does its part and pay its taxes or let the properties go to sale, rather than wasting valuable space in the industrial park and valuable time in the treasurer’s office and court system.