Enhanced Enterprise Zone benefits approved for Scoular

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Grain giant to receive property tax breaks for Butterfield project

The first project to seek tax breaks under Barry County's Enhanced Enterprise Zone has received approval. The application from the Scoular Company, a 120-year-old grain company with more than $6 billion in annual sales, received final approval from the Barry County Commission following a recommendation by the Barry County EEZ Board. Scoular built a grain elevator in Butterfield last summer and began purchasing local grain.

According to Lynette Dilbeck, with the EEZ board, the Scoular Company met the requirements established by the EEZ as set forth in a resolution by the Barry County Commission, approved in November 2010. The EEZ became official when the State of Missouri approved and granted the EEZ status in mid-2011.

"Scoular provided and certified adequate documentation to receive a 75 percent annual tax abatement for a period of 10 years," Dilbeck said. "Scoular met or exceeded the minimum requirements for an EEZ designation and the abatement [by adding] four new full-time employees; by providing salaries to its Barry County workforce by more than 110 percent of the county's average payroll/wage; [by] adding new capital investment exceeding $1 million; and [by] paying a minimum 50 percent of health insurance premiums for each employee."

Scoular will provide adequate documentation each June to the Barry County tax assessor to assure its qualification each year for 10 years.

"Presiding Barry County Commissioner Cherry Warren, EEZ board chairman Bill Easley and the other county commissioners and EEZ board members have worked long and hard over about five years to keep Barry County economically competitive by creating and nurturing this EEZ," Dilbeck said. "The Barry County EEZ board and county commission are highly optimistic that a more favorable economy will increase interest in coming to and/or expanding business investments in Barry County. The importance of this first EEZ designation is in demonstrating that the county is serious about approving qualified designations.

Dilbeck said the EEZ is no longer theoretical, and it is invaluable when competing with other geographic areas for investment.

"It keeps Barry County in the running with other areas with EEZ designations," she said. "Without the ability to designate an EEZ tax abatement, Barry County could quickly be eliminated in competing with other locations. It is a critical incentive and important tool in the county's economic toolbox."

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