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Oct 16

Two New Programs for Business & Home Owners

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 9:36 AM by Murray McGee

Whether you are a business owner or a home owner, today there is a new program for you. After more than seven months of meetings, presentations and public hearings the City of Chanute Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) is ready to begin.

The program has been adopted by the Chanute City Commission and the USD 413 Board of Education, while the Neosho County Commissioners have scheduled a he...aring on October 18th to decide whether or not they wish to participate in the program.

The Neighborhood Revitalization Program provides an incentive to commercial and residential property owners to make improvements to their property without concern for their taxes suddenly increasing. The NRP offers a tax “rebate” for ten years on additional property taxes assessed as a result of improvements that are made that increase the appraised value of the property by at least $7,500. This includes businesses, homes as well as historic register properties. It applies to new construction, building additions, renovations and any other improvements that increase the value of the property.

The rebates only apply to the increased portion of taxes assessed as a result of the improvements. The rebate begins at ninety percent and decreases over the ten year rebate period.

One important thing to remember is that no construction can begin until the application has been approved by the Chanute City Commission. Applications for the program are currently available at the Chanute Regional Development Authority office at 1 S. Lincoln and at the City Clerk’s office at the Chanute Municipal Building at 101 S. Lincoln.

Another program was recently put into place to help encourage college graduates to move back home to Neosho County and encourage out of state residents to move into the area for employment. The Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) program was created by the Kansas Legislature and provides two incentives; one is a student loan repayment program and the other is an income tax abatement.

The income tax waiver is good for up to five years to those qualified applicants who have lived outside Kansas for the previous five years and have earned less than $10,000 in Kansas-source income during that period.

The student loan reimbursement program is available to qualified applicants who have obtained an associates, tech, bachelors, or post-graduate degree from an accredited institution. They are eligible for up to $3,000 per year for five years with half of the money coming from the state and the other half to come from local sources.

In our case, Neosho County was able to “opt-in” for the student loan portion of the program thanks to a very gracious action by County Commissioner David Bideau who put up $100 of his own money to provide seed money for the local match required to begin the program. Now with the program enacted in Neosho County, local businesses can sponsor specific applicants who wish to participate in the program.

In other words, businesses can now use the Rural Opportunity Zone program as part of their recruitment package to attract new employees who are carrying the burden of an outstanding student loan. The state can match the business contribution towards the employees’ student loan reimbursement, dollar for dollar up to a combined total of $15,000 over 5 years.

Many communities have benefited from the ROZ program since it started several years ago by actively recruiting doctors, teachers, engineers and pharmacists who otherwise might have overlooked employment opportunities in rural communities.

Businesses interested in the ROZ program can contact the Chanute Regional Development Authority at (620) 431-5222. We also have additional information on the program and Business Sponsorship Application forms to help with employee recruitment efforts.