An oversight in paperwork for tax abatements in Jeffersonville may allow the city to collect thousands of dollars in owed revenue.
According to Jeffersonville Urban Enterprise Zone Director Kelly Phillips, a number of businesses have not been paying a 10 percent fee to the city as part of a tax abatement they receive. Phillips explained that part of the process for a host of businesses located in Jeffersonville that receive tax abatements is to file a compliance with statement of benefits form — CF1 — annually. The form documents the progress the company has outlined in order to receive its tax abatement.
However, the compliance forms from 2011 and 2012 have not been officially approved by the council.
“The companies, basically, aren’t aware that this has been an issue because they are still receiving the abatement,” Phillips said. “The issue would be if we decided not to approve one of these abatements. We sent everything out, it just wasn’t formally approved at [a] council meeting. The companies were still told to file on time. They still did that.”
Tax abatements allow companies to avoid paying taxes on improvements to buildings or equipment and are usually spread out over a 10-year period. Each year the abatement, or amount the company is required to pay, increases incrementally until the company, at the end of the abatement, is paying full value on its property. The abatements allow companies to mitigate the upfront costs of improvements or expansions.
The sentiment of the council was to move past the two years the abatements were not monitored.
“We’re being retroactive, and I’m saying it was kind of our fault that we forgot to send it out,” said City Councilman Dennis Julius, referring to the paperwork.
Councilman Ed Zastawny agreed and added that he wants to ensure the proper procedure is followed starting this year.