Proposed Tax Abatement Ordinances Introduced

Councilwomen Liz Brown and Karen Goldner’s proposed changes to the City Tax Abatement code was introduced to the City Council in ordinance form last evening.  The above video is from the introduction during the Regular Session of the Fort Wayne City Council.  A second video is included of Councilwoman Goldner discussing what happened and what is next.

All ordinances are introduced, or read into the record by the committee chair under whose purview the ordinance falls.  In this case, the Tax Abatement changes are to city code which puts them into the Regulations Committee.  The Chair of this committee is Councilman Marty Bender, while the Co-Chair is Councilman Tim Pape.  Reading the ordinance involves reading the bill number and brief description of the bill.  in this case, the following was read by Councilman Bender:

AN ORDINANCE amending Chapter 153: Planning and Development, Designation of Economic Revitalization Areas and the Granting of Tax Abatements, of the Fort Wayne Municipal Code of Ordinances Chapter 153 be amended, 153.13 through 153.24 be deleted in Its entirety and replaced with the above ordinance

A RESOLUTION approving administrative procedures for processing applications for Designation of Economic Revitalization Areas Section 153.13 designates the City of Fort Wayne Community
Development Division to develop procedures for the orderly Application, administration and monitoring of economic Revitalization areas

In yesterday’s meeting, there were two other unrelated Tax Abatement ordinances up for introduction as well.  These are usually all read and voted on in one grouping.  The vote is whether or not the council wishes to accept the ordinances and discuss them further.  In the case of Councilman Bender’s proposed changes to the Smoking Ordinance earlier in the year, when the introduction vote was taken, the bill was not allowed to progress further.  Many on the council indicated their minds were already made up and further discussion and time put into the issue would not change their mind or vote.  This rarely happens as 99.9% of the bills introduced are granted discussion at the least.  This is merely a time for council to decide if it wishes to address an issue or not.

The next step, as explained by Councilwoman Goldner, will be discussion of the proposed ordinances.  This will happen in the Council’s Committee Session. The November 18th meeting will be full and probably long.  Many items are on the agenda for the 18th including another session of the 2009 Budget Hearing, an update by Barry Real Estate to the council about The Harrison and the Citilink 2009 Budget approval.  In the interests of not packing too much into one session, the tax abatement ordinances may be held until the 25th.  Stay tuned to AFW for more coverage on the Brown-Goldner Tax Abatement Changes.

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