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Elkhart County Council accepts plan uniform tax incentives

The Elkhart County Council approved a policy Saturday, June 8, that standardizes applications for companies seeking tax incentives.

Posted on June 10, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — The Elkhart County Council followed the lead of the Goshen City Council this weekend in adopting a standardized policy for property tax incentives that companies apply for to expand or relocate to the county.

The county council approved a plan Saturday, June 8, that creates a uniform application for companies to receive tax phase-ins whether they are located in city limits or out in the county.

County commissioner Mike Yoder said the policy could help attract higher-paying jobs to the area.

“There are a couple of interesting things here, especially when we look at targeting companies that are actually moving that median wage level up,” he told county council members. “If a company comes and is offering $10 or $11 an hour jobs, our policy indicates that we would probably be saying ‘no’ unless there’s something unique about that.”

The county council unanimously supported the policy recommended by the Elkhart County Intergovernmental Forum, which includes city and county officials.

“There were some ideas from all of the municipalities and the county incorporated in this agreement,” county council member Tom Stump noted. “There is an exception that Mike talked about in there for special circumstances, so we’re not necessarily tied to everything in there, but I thought it was an excellent plan, and I hope it works well for the county.”

Yoder recently presented the plan to the town of Wakarusa, and he will pitch the policy to leaders in Middlebury and Elkhart within the next few weeks.

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