Laconia City Council moves forward with plans for tax break for new industrial startups and expansions
By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Industrial businesses that want to locate or expand in the city would get a property tax break under a plan approved Monday by city councilors.
The idea is to attract and encourage the kind of companies that can provide good-paying jobs and boost the local economy.
City Manager Scott Myers had urged the City Council to consider offering this incentive after the New Hampshire Legislature approved RSA 72:82, which allows municipalities to provide a property tax exemption on commercial and industrial assessments for new construction, additions, renovations or improvements to existing structures.
On Monday, the council told Myers to begin the process of drawing up language and scheduling a public hearing to provide the exemption for five years and only for industrial companies.
Councilors opted for focusing on companies with the greatest likelihood of providing good-paying jobs. If they were to include commercial companies, it would have applied to a broad range of businesses, including very small ones.
”If you included all commercial companies, it would apply to everything from a four-star hotel to a convenience store that wanted to add 500 square feet of storage space,” Myers said.
The exemption could reduce by half municipal and local school property taxes assessed by the municipality.
For example, if a company wants to build a $1 million plant in Laconia, under current rules, it would have to pay municipal and local school property taxes of about $18 per $1,000 of assessed value, or $18,000 per year.
Under the tax break, this would drop to $9,000 per year.
Myers said the city could miss out on some tax revenue, but on the other hand, this incentive might attract a company that otherwise might not come here in the first place.
“You are getting part of something instead of a whole lot of nothing,” he said.
He also said that future city councils would always have the right to adjust the tax break, if needed, with the understanding that companies already receiving the incentive would be “grandfathered in” and still receive it for the full five years.
(editor's note: The secondary headline has been updated to more accurately describe who the tax breaks are for.)
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