Pratt County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution this week, which authorizes tax abatement and exemptions for purposes of economic development. Kansas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1986, which authorized cities and counties to exempt from property taxes all or part of buildings, land and tangible personal property used by new business exclusively for manufacturing, research and development, or the storing of goods traded in interstate commerce.
The two primary objectives of Pratt County in granting tax exemptions and or abatements for economic development are to provide needed jobs and expand the economic tax base of the county. It is the policy of the county that private business should not be subsidized with public funds, the indirect consequences of tax exemption incentives, unless public benefits exceed the costs, as determined by the governing body.
The five-page document further outlines extensive procedures to be followed in determining the eligibility of an applicant to qualify the tax breaks. Additionally, the procedures encourages input from the city of Pratt and schools districts regarding the impact such actions would have on their tax base.
If an abatement or exemption is granted, the county counselor or county clerk will review actual payroll, investment, construction, firm, and visitors numbers and then perform another cost-benefit analysis. If numbers do not support the original abatement, then another ordinance will be adopted with the new abatement percentages. In addition, any business, which has been granted a tax exemption and or abatement, shall pay an annual renewal fee in the amount of $100.
In other matters, commissioners:
• Were informed bonds were sold last Tuesday for the Pratt Regional Medical Center project in the amount of $27.9 million at 3.47 average percent. Local financial institutions were active in the purchase of the bonds, according to Dustin Avey of PiperJaffray.
Avey said, "There might be enough excess proceeds to possibly pay off the bond issue 2-3 years early."
Kevin Cowan of PiperJaffray was on hand to guide commissioners and the Pratt County Building Commission through the signing of required document to get the project underway.
• Approved replacing the electric holiday candles in the windows of the Pratt County Courthouse at an estimated cost of $600 from Skaggs Ace Hardware.
• Discussed the Pratt Community Thanksgiving Dinner with Tiffany Ailstock of RSVP. The previous organizer of the dinner has quit.
and sold all of the equipment. Ailstock and Jenny Larison will be working together this year to put on the dinner for the public.
"There's people who come there, who have no other place to go," said Pratt County Commissioner Dwight Adams. "Large families also come and participate in the affair. I really enjoy volunteering for the dinner and have done so for several years.
Page 2 of 2 - • Discussed the co-joining of Great Plains Development with another development company.
• Discussed holiday closings of Pratt County Courthouse with Sherry Kruse. County employees will have December 24-25 off for Christmas and January 1 off for New Year's.