Proposed Tax Abatement Changes – Questions?

Councilwomen Liz Brown and Karen Goldner are in the process of gathering public input about their proposed changes to the City’s Tax Abatement Ordinance and procedures.  Next week, I will be sitting down with an official from the City to look at the current tax abatement process and procedures.  The goal of this, will be a primer of sorts for citizens and interested parties explaining what tax abatements are, how they work and what the process is like.  

To that end, I am accepting questions from you to be asked and answered about tax abatements.  All questions submitted are subject to review and may or may not be asked.  You will be credited with the question, unless you wish to remain anonymous.  Please note that the questions should not be about specific abatements granted or not granted.  Remember, the purpose of this primer is to educate about abatements and the process – not to challenge or examine controversial past/present/future occurrences.  You may submit your questions as a comment to this post, or you may email me.  Please include whether or not you would like to be credited or remain anonymous.  Deadline for submissions is Monday, September 29th 2008 at 11:59:59 pm.

Related Links:
Proposed Tax Abatement Changes12th September 2008 
Brown and Goldner interview on YouTube12th September 2008
Amendments To Tax Abatement Code Ready For Comment - 5th September 2008
Proposed Changes to the Tax Abatement Ordinance – on the City’s website

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  1. Stephen,

    I’m not sure who you are meeting with regarding tax abatements, but here are a couple of questions I have regarding the definition of Substantial Compliance and monitoring under current Code, and (I think) the proposed revisions:

    Why keep the definition at 75% of jobs/payroll projection? I’ve always thought the 75% of jobs/payroll figure a little curious. I suppose that the policy behind it is to allow flexibility for the company when estimating its new jobs/payroll creation, but I’ve wondered whether the City was creating an incentive for the investor to ‘fib’ on its projection and, potentially, on the investment itself. Ninety percent seems more reasonable, but I’m not sure what the standard is among other municipalities, either.

    Also, I’m curious about the monitoring of Substantial Compliance: what happens if a company makes a good investment but fails to meet the Substantial Compliance threshold, etc? Is enforcement discretionary?

    When I read their changes a few weeks ago, I thought of sending the question along to Karen and Liz. Alas, I didn’t do so; maybe you can make use of the questions in your meeting. Thanks.

  2. Hi Casey,

    I thank you for the questions. I have compliance on the agenda already, in a bit different form – I will bring it and the other question up as well. I will also forward it to Karen and Liz.

    For the record, it’s Elissa McGauley that I am meeting with.

    Thanks for the questions!


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