In a special meeting of the Purdy City Council last week, aldermen approved a resolution to authorize the Barry County Assessor to abate a portion of taxes to qualifying businesses in the Barry County Enhanced Enterprise Zone (EEZ).
Barry County Presiding Commissioner Cherry Warren and Cassville City Administrator Eugene Dilbeck were present at the meeting to answer aldermen's questions as to the benefits the resolution would provide for the city.
The intent of the EEZ is to encourage business growth and offer tax abatements to new, existing or expanding businesses. These abatements make Barry County a more attractive location for industries seeking to build in southwest Missouri.
"The goal is to get new and expanding businesses into Barry County," Dilbeck said.
What that means for the business owners is that with a minimum capital investment of $100,000 and the addition of two new full-time employees and a plan to provide 50 percent of the costs for employees' health insurance plan, business owners may receive a 50 percent tax abatement for at least 10 years. All three criteria must be met in order for businesses to qualify for the abatement.
Employers will also have to maintain the pay levels and number of employees to continue qualifying for abatements. If during the annual review, the criteria in any of the three qualifying categories is not met, the tax abatement will be adjusted to an appropriate level.
Existing businesses in Barry County may also qualify for the abatements if the three criteria are met.
Businesses that may qualify for abatements include: agriculture; utilities; construction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; transportation and warehousing; finance and insurance; real estate and leasing; professional and technical services; health care and social services; and arts, entertainment and recreation, to name a few.
Businesses that will not qualify for an abatement include: hog and pig farming and poultry and egg production; gambling establishments; educational services; religious organizations; public administration; and food and drinking.
Additional abatements of up to 100 percent are available to new business if certain criteria are met.
"This will attract industry to Barry County," Warren said.