September 23, 2008

Jasper County action on Four County Development Authority criticized in Morgan County Paper

 At the September Commissioners meeting the Commissioners voted 2-2 to defeat a Restructuring of the Four County (Joint) Development Authority Revenue Bonds. 

By refusing to renegotiate the interest rates, Jasper County will cause all four counties involved to pay a higher interest rate over a shorter period of time (5 years vs. 12 years).  The other counties are not happy, and the Morgan County newspaper said so in the following editorial.

 The Morgan County Citizen  http://morgancountycitizen.com/
September 18, 2008                             EDITORIAL 

Morgan County Citizen Editorial

There is $6.8Million of debt remaining over 12 years.  The bond insurer has lost its favorable rating and therefore bond issue in jeopardy.  Interest rates will increase.

The payment on this debt is guaranteed by 4 counties--Morgan-15%; Jasper-10%, Newton-37.5%; and Walton-37.5%.  At present, Jasper pays approximately $70,000 per year on its share of the debt.

Comm. Bernard has repeatedly said that he thinks it is wrong for Jasper County to continue with the 4CDA.  He has asked the other counties to buy Jasper out several times.  At the BOC meeting Denny Dobbs, Treasurer or the 4CDA, said he didn’t know why Jasper was in the project to start with.  TWG does know.

 Jasper is in this project because they were the Tier II (or Tier III) County.  This designation comes from the State and allows businesses in smaller counties with a Tier II designation to receive special tax benefits.  The businesses receive tax credits.  Any business that opens in the Stanton Springs Industrial Park will receive these tax benefits afforded by the fact that Jasper County is part of the Authority that owns the Park.  For this reason, the other counties will never let Jasper County out of the contract.  The tax benefits are part of the plan to get businesses to locate in the business park. 

Tier 1 counties, the state’s least developed counties, are ranked 1 through 71. Companies creating five or more new jobs in a Tier 1 county may receive a $3,500 tax credit. Tier 2 counties are ranked 72 through 106. Companies creating 10 or more new jobs in a Tier 2 county may receive a $2,500 tax credit. Tier 3 counties are ranked 107 through 141. Companies creating 15 or more new jobs in a Tier 3 county may receive a $1,250 tax credit.



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