Update: City OK with abatement

October 31, 2008
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Stokley Building IndianapolisThe city has decided to support a request by Buckingham Cos. to abate part of the additional tax liability stemming from its $2.5-million renovation of the Stokely-Van Camp building at 941 N. Meridian St. The application was caught up in the transition from Mayor Bart Peterson to Mayor Greg Ballard. Officials adjusted the application to reflect the creation of 18 new jobs and the retention of 62 jobs. An earlier report on the abatement said the firm would retain 310 jobs, but that figure refers to its county-wide employee count, not just those working in the historic building. The 8-year abatement worth about $115,500 still must win approval of the Metropolitan Development Commission. "The city decided to honor its commitment in this case because it was made in the previous administration and this administration indicated support as well," spokesman John Bartholomew said in an e-mail. Scroll down for the earlier post.
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  • I think this is a good thing. Even with the credit crunch probably slowing progress, what Buckingham is proposing to do around that building, the job retention for the county, and the creation more than justifies the honoring of this commitment. Good for them for continuing to do the work while it was stuck in transition hell.
  • I agree with Nick. It looks like the right decision for the long term. I love the Stokely-Van Camp building. Kudos to Buckingham for being a good steward and for investing in the neighborhood. It would have been much easier to build some schlock office building in one of the surrounding counties, as some of their competitors have done.
  • Does government ever say No to tax abatements?

    It would be nice for government to have a focused plan on incentives instead of handing them out like candy to everyone showing up at their door regardless of the economic impact or justified gap financing to get the deal done.

    Don't they realize the millions of taxpayer dollars spent on building the library was more important to this developer than tax abatements?

    I suspect that is why our personal property taxes are so high, our schools are underfunded, and we are still awaiting our economic boom to be realized.
  • At an annual salary of $30k these 18 new jobs will mean a continuing investment of more than $4MM over the 8 year abatement period. On its face that is a good deal provided those wage-earners live, pay taxes, and spend money in Marion County.

    How many of those 18 jobs would have been created even without the abatement?
    Also, WHEN will the 18 jobs be created? I can't imagine Buckingham is in the process of staffing up for a big 2009.
  • Let's see: county income tax of 1.65% on a conservative $500K of payroll works out to about $8k/year...or close to half the abatement.

    Buckingham also spent significant money on public infrastructure (sidewalk, street trees, parking bump-out; see picture for details).

    I'd say the city is getting something of value for the property-tax abatement.

    Plus those cool blue lights at night. :-)
  • Taxpayer has it right. Will the City give a homeowner an abatement if they invest in their property, or repair the sidewalk in front of it? Of course not.

    The businesses can keep getting their abatements and the homeowners can keep watching their tax bills ascend while their level of services stagnates or decreases. But I'm sure many will tell us how it would be so much worse without the abatements. Not buying it.

    Nick, you're willing to give out abatements on this project based on some plans they have for other properties?

    MDB, if they hadn't renovated the building, could someone else not have done it?
  • idyllic, don't you get an abatement for your homestead and your mortgage?
  • Abatements are available to all property owners planning to undertake improvements. They must (or at least used to be required to) show that but for the prospect of abatement, they couldn't afford to do the project.

    I agree it's an over-used perk and ought to be done away with. Often the creation of (and now retention of) jobs is a joke.
  • Thunder, you got me there, except that I get the same credit or deduction that every other homeowner gets. Not a special, exclusive one based upon some specious argument that I could not otherwise afford to invest in my property, or that I would otherwise move elsewhere. A request for a tax abatement says that I'm not as good at doing what I do as someone who is paying there full property tax obligation. My opinion is that we shouldn't be rewarding businesses that aren't successful enough to compete fairly.

    If you want to make the business climate more inviting, do it evenly for everyone.
  • But the renter next door to you does NOT get the same credit or deduction. So you and I get a break for investing in Center Township homes, while our neighbors who rent don't.

    Buckingham moved from a rented house to one they bought. They aren't asking for anything I didn't get when I bought my house from my landlord.

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