Crystal City/James Hardie tax abatement proposal and meeting

(Crystal City) Despite a request from the Jefferson R-7 School District, the proposed tax abatement vote on the James Hardie manufacturing plant to be built in Crystal City will likely be held at Monday night’s city council meeting. On September 14th, members of the Jefferson School District attended an informational public meeting after receiving a letter from the city on the 11th and did not receive the packet with the proposal until the morning of that meeting. Crystal City City Administrator Jason Eisenbeis says Jefferson would later send a letter to the city asking for a delay on the vote.

The James Hardie proposal offers a 20-year schedule calling for 100 percent real estate tax abatement for the first year the plant is in operation, 80 percent for the second year, and 50 percent for the next 18 years. There is no abatement requested for the plants’ personal property tax, which includes all machinery, equipment, vehicles, and more.

Eisenbeis spoke on some of the questions Jefferson schools included in that letter.

Eisenbeis says the city responded with answers to the questions.

Eisenbeis says while Jefferson would like to have a “piece of the pie”, it’s really not an option.

Included in a Friday afternoon press release from Crystal City….”If James Hardie never made the decision to develop the old Festus Airport site, the current tax revenues generated from that site amount to approximately $30,131 per year to R-7. Over a 20-year period, that total is projected to be $659,852 that R-7 would receive from the 4 property parcels that comprise that site.
With James Hardie’s manufacturing plant, the revenue grows significantly due to economic development, the additional jobs at James Hardie’s plant, and the additional economic activity that supports and surrounds a plant of its size. With the abatement offered by the City, the incentive to recruit James Hardie is projected to result in about $550,000 (average) per year in tax revenue to R-7 and a total of $10,057,516 over a 20-year period in tax revenue to the R-7 School District.”

The meeting on Monday night will certainly include a discussion of the proposed tax abatement.