Supervisors repeal tax break policy

Pickering co-op will not get abatement on facility project

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS - It was a more cramped than usual Marshall County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday morning. Extensive damage to the Marshall County Courthouse forced the meeting location across the street to the Marshall County EngineerÕs office building.

After much discussion during multiple meetings, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to eliminate a policy from 2010 on a tax abatement to a project at the Heartland Cooperative Pickering location.

The board made the decision Tuesday morning from a cramped Marshall County Engineer’s Office conference room. They could not hold the meeting at the Marshall County Courthouse due to tornado damage.

“It’s just not a popular project in the county,” said board member Steve Salasek.

The board had discussed the possibility of approving a three-year, 100-percent property tax abatement for an expansion project at the Heartland Pickering location near Ferguson. Only the expansion facility was considered in discussions, not the entire Pickering facility.

However, after hearing opposition from constituents and talking with officials from other counties, they decided against the tax break policy.

Such a tax abatement was approved by a different set of supervisors in 2010 to the Pickering location in an urban revitalization area policy. It was that policy which was removed Tuesday.

“This individual policy that had been in effect, I would recommend that we discontinue it,” said Thompson, who made the motion for the elimination of the urban revitalization area at Pickering within the county. The motion was seconded by Salasek and approved 3-0.

Board Chairman Bill Patten said the move was allowed under Iowa Code section 404.7 after talking with Marshall County Attorney Jennifer Miller.

“It says in the code 10 years, but then it goes on to say once the abatements are all done, then you can … take it off,” he said. “These abatements were for three years and then they were done.”

Patten said he spoke with supervisors from Story County and said they had no such abatement policy. Thompson said Hardin County also had no such policy and that Tama County has no written policy and handles such abatement requests on an individual basis.

Salasek said he focused on getting local farmers’ thoughts on approving such a tax break and found much opposition.

The next Marshall County Board of Supervisors meeting is set for 9 a.m. Aug. 7. No meeting location has yet been decided.

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com