Economic Development Authority
The Wright County Economic Development Authority (EDA) is committed to encouraging economic growth as a cornerstone of a strong community and will partner with local jurisdictions to help them achieve economic success. The EDA will also promote flourishing industries, entrepreneurial success, high local employment levels, and income opportunities. With a targeted and quantified approach that follows state laws, the EDA aims to use tax abatement as a tool to shepherd economic growth.
AUTHORIZATION AND STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS
Under state law, the EDA may grant tax abatements with a duration of 15 years with the exception of projects eligible for 20-year abatements pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 469.1813, subs. 6(b) and 6b. The duration of the tax abatement shall be the minimum amount necessary to meet the financial goals of the project.
Limits on amount of abatement
In any year, the total amount of property taxes abated may not exceed ten percent of the net tax capacity of Wright County for the taxes payable year to which the abatement applies, or $200,000, whichever is greater. The limit under this subdivision does not apply to:
- an uncollected abatement from a prior year that is added to the abatement levy; or
- a taxpayer whose real and personal property is subject to valuation under Minnesota Rules, chapter 8100
The EDA may limit the amount of the abatement provided to:
- to a specific dollar amount per year or in total;
- to the increase in property taxes resulting from improvement of the property;
- to the increases in property taxes resulting from increases in the market value or tax capacity of the property;
- in any other manner the governing body of the subdivision determines is appropriate; or
- to the interest and penalty that would otherwise be due on taxes that are deferred.
- The EDA may not abate tax attributable to the areawide tax under chapter 276A or 473F, except as provided in this subdivision.
The EDA finds that the property tax abatement is in the public interest because it will accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
- increase or preserve tax base;
- provide employment opportunities in the political subdivision;
- provide or help acquire or construct public facilities;
- help redevelop or renew blighted areas;
- help provide access to services for residents of the political subdivision;
- finance or provide public infrastructure;
- phase in a property tax increase on the parcel resulting from an increase of 50 percent or more in one year on the estimated market value of the parcel, other than increase attributable to improvement of the parcel; or
- stabilize the tax base through equalization of property tax revenues for a specified period of time with respect to a taxpayer whose real and personal property is subject to valuation under Minnesota Rules, chapter 8100.
- The County will not issue bonds to provide up-front abatement. Abatement will only be provided on a pay-as-you-go basis.
- Requests for abatement must be made in advance of any improvements being made to the property.
Eligible recipients must be in a city or township that has opted into the EDA. Under state law, county EDAs may operate only in cities and townships that have adopted resolutions electing to participate in the EDA. A list of current participants is available online: Cities and Townships Participating in Wright County EDA.
The EDA will consider using tax abatement to achieve one or more of the following objectives.
- Creation of jobs and the wage level of those jobs
- Economic impact of development
- To create additional unsubsidized private investment in Wright County
- To facilitate site development that would not occur without a business subsidy
- To redevelop blighted sites or to aid in the costs of redevelopment above the costs normally incurred in development (e.g. contaminated site clean-up)
- To achieve another policy goal of the County
Creation of jobs and wage level of jobs
Creation of additional unsubsidized investment
Ratio of public to private investment
Costs of redevelopment of blighted property above and beyond costs normally incurred in development
Property tax impact
Addition of infrastructure of value to areas outside of project area
The EDA will also consider the following factors when determining whether to grant the abatement.
- Whether or not the proposed project maximizes the use of the proposed site.
- The impact that the proposed project will have on infrastructure including pollution control, roads and traffic management, as well as government services such as law enforcement, human services, etc.
- The impact that the project will have on natural resources.
- The County will only consider application also receiving support from the City or Township in which the business is located.
Application and review process
Applications are available on the Wright County EDA’s website. Applications are received on an ongoing basis.
Applications will be received and reviewed by Wright County staff. A staff team of at least three members will score each application and develop a recommendation for the Wright County EDA. Recommendations will be presented at EDA board meetings, and the EDA board will vote whether to recommend each application. Recommended applications will move forward for a public hearing and consideration by the County Board.
Nothing in this policy shall require the EDA to provide abatement to for a project that is eligible under this program. Each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
All tax abatement projects will be required to enter into a business subsidy agreement with the County. Subsidy agreement will lay out the responsibilities of the abatement recipient.
Abatement recipients shall comply with annual reporting requirements stipulated in Minnesota Statute 116J.993-116J.995.