Nodaway County Economic Development (NCED) Director Josh McKim led a September 12 public hearing for the Nodaway County Enhanced Enterprise Zone (EEZ) in the county’s Administration Center.

The public hearing saw representatives from nine of the 33 taxing districts which are a part of the EEZ. Those taxing entities include townships, fire districts, cities and public schools. This EEZ does not include the city of Maryville or around Mozingo Lake Recreation Park and the northwest corner of the county that has the Northwest Nodaway EEZ. To be an EEZ, the district needs to be blighted in some form so Maryville and Mozingo would not qualify.

The EEZ tax abatement incentive began in 2012 as a statewide program but was soon made a local initiative for governance. It was originally created to attract wind farms. Presently Clear Creek and White Cloud wind-turbine enterprises are receiving this incentive.

The reason for the public hearing was to notify and listen to the representatives concerning the proposed addendum to the current ordinance. The proposed addendum will establish a minimum of 50 percent property tax abatement of improvements to the real property; however this will not include land or personal property. The term of the abatement is 10 years. For a business to qualify it must employ at least two new, full-time equivalent people and reach the minimal capital investment of $100,000 as required by the state of Missouri. There are 18 qualifying NAICS codes or business types in the ordinance that would address solar farms, commercial greenhouses or hydroponic growing operations, which have shown interest in operations in the county’s EEZ recently.

If the business invests more and hires more employees, it could qualify for up to a 70 percent tax abatement for the 10 years as an incentive.

The representatives were also educated to know what they must do to allow the further public input from their districts. The taxing entities must also hold a public hearing with a posting of the event at least 48 hours in advance. The taxing group must then hold a directors vote of either approving or denying the addendum. Then the taxing group must forward the minutes of the meeting when the vote was held to NCED.

Next McKim, as the EEZ administrator, will report to the EEZ board the voting results from the taxing entities, which will review and report to the Nodaway County Commission the recommendation as well as any applications made by businesses. Then the commission will set a public meeting to hear any input from the public again  before the addendum and any business applications is taken to a vote of the three leaders. The Nodaway County EEZ board is composed of Brenda Dougan, Erin Dinsdale, Ray Meyer, Damian Auffert, Bill Brookshier, Greg McDanel and Michael Rosenbohm.

This proposed addendum if approved will allow this EEZ to mirror the Northwest Nodaway EEZ’s NAICS business types.