The Pike County Courier ,By Jerry Goldberg Published Oct 10, 2013
Dingman — Pike County Commissioners’ Vice-Chair Matt Osterberg attended the Oct. 1 supervisors’ meeting in Dingman to support a five-year tax abatement program to help businesses locate or expand in Pike County.
The Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Ordinance was proposed by Michael Sullivan, former executive director of the Pike County Development Authority. The program would apply only to new, incoming businesses that build new facilities, or to established businesses expanding their current facilities. The county commissioners and township supervisors said they are very interested in attracting new businesses for the new jobs they’ll bring. Supervisor Dennis Brink said he was concerned about the tax abatement being applied to home occupation businesses, which may induce some people to try to outsmart the program. “Someone could buy a new home, turn a portion of it into a home business, and then apply for a tax abatement incentive,” he said. Mincer said they’d be on the watch for scammers and deal with the problem if it arises. He stressed that the tax abatement, which would affect real estate taxes and school taxes, would apply only to the expanded part of a business, not its current tax bill.
Support from the school board and Pike’s municipalities is key to the program’s success. The school boards will have to agree to the abatement, since it will mean a slight reduction in the tax money they receive. Mincer has said that new businesses will eventually boost revenue through the creation of jobs, and add no children to the school roster.