Work being done to find out when incentives end

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 SHEPHERDSVILLE – As time goes by, many of the incentives offered to bring companies to Bullitt County are running out.

But, what may have been undetected by many local officials or even company representatives, some of the incentives may have a maximum return on investment.

Nicky Rapier, interim director of the Bullitt County Economic Development Authority, said a lot of work has been done and more still must be done to devise a way to determine when the incentives are completed.

For example, in the city of Shepherdsville, giving companies back a portion of their occupational taxes was an incentive to help them recover the multi-million dollar developments.

The state gives a tax break and the city would give its 1 percent occupational tax back to the company.

What wasn’t known was that some of the deals had a maximum amount that could be given back to the companies. Or the deal would run for 10 years. 

Recently, the city had been working with GSI/e-Bay on its facility in the Cedar Grove Business Park.

As of Dec. 31, 2012, Rapier said the company had received the maximum it would receive in city occupational tax credit. From that point on, the company and its employees would be paying the entire 1.5 percent occupational tax to the city.

Neither side owes anyone any money. The city of Shepherdsville will start receiving all the occupational tax revenue starting on Jan. 1, 2013.

During the process of researching this situation, Rapier said it was determined that no one really had a good handle on the length of the incentives and if any maximum return was set. And that lack of knowledge existed at both the local and state level.

Some of the deals are very complex. And other times officials at the state and local government, as well as at the companies, will change and the new person may not be informed of the deal.

His goal now is to get a database where all the information is available to the local and state officials on how the incentives work and when they are due to expire.

With Bullitt County listed as an enhanced area, based on unemployment rates, cities do not have to give back any of its occupational tax. The state will pick up the extra percent.

Shepherdsville mayor Scott Ellis announced at a recent city council meeting that the city and GSI had reached its obligation, adding that the company was now paying the full amount of the tax.

Former Economic Development director Bob Fouts confirmed that GSI began full tax payment as of Jan. 1.

City attorney Joe Wantland said GSI planned to create 100 local jobs when it came to Shepherdsville in 2005. He said the company far exceeded its goal and that business continued to flourish.

Fouts said GSI was currently supplying around 250 local jobs.

In other business:

*Rapier said he expects one to three spec buildings to be constructed over the next year.

The buildings would be in the range of 500,000-600,000 square feet. Right now, available space for lease is limited.

The only drawback is that those who build structures normally have to do their own financing, said Rapier.

*Consultant Kriss Lowery said that she would be more than willing to discuss the comprehensive land-use plan with the EDA members.

She would not attend an EDA meeting due to the guidelines of her contract allow a certain amount of stops. But she did want the input of the members and would invite them to attend any of the five public hearings, which would be announced at a later date.

The next regular meeting of the Bullitt County EDA is set for Thursday, March 21, at 8 a.m. at the Ridgway Memorial Library in Shepherdsville. The public is invited to attend.