IDB recesses meeting to wait for PILOT application

Friday, October 5, 2012

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

Lewisburg's Industrial Development Board was expected to reconvene its monthly meeting at noon Thursday to consider an application for a Payment in Lieu of Tax agreement that might lead to 30 new jobs.

A company already established in the Industrial Park wants to buy a $300,000 machine, and it is asking for a five-year PILOT.

Such an agreement defers taxes on the new equipment for five years, but payments are made in growing amounts based on the value of the new equipment and the local property tax rates.

The IDB is expected to endorse this request and pass it on to the city council, which met in special session Thursday afternoon. The council's regular monthly meeting will be held at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday.

At the IDB's regular meeting last Tuesday, members heard from Kelsie Jones, executive secretary of the State Board of Equalization. He gave a refresher course on PILOTs and also on TIFs - Tax Increment Financing.

IDB members know about PILOTs, but TIFs have not been tried here.

In a TIF, the city would invest in improving a property by running utilities to it and doing some preliminary site work, then promote the land to business or industry as a "pad ready site." When the new owner had the company up and running, a designated portion of the taxes paid would reimburse the city for its investment.

Industrial Development Director Greg Lowe said this might be particularly interesting for sites around Interstate Exit 32.

IDB members also heard from Leroy Cunningham of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Middle Tennessee State University, which offers a free guidance resource for almost everything to do with starting and running a small business.