Fort Scott’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program came one step closer to getting the approval needed for a renewal for five years when the Bourbon County Commission approved the program, joining the Fort Scott City Commission, who approved it at a recent meeting.
Director of Economic Development Heather Smith shared information with the county commissioners Tuesday morning, seeking their signature for the inter-local agreement between the area tax entities, including the county, city of Fort Scott, USD 234 and the Fort Scott Community College. Signatures from the latter two are still needed.
“The goal of this program is to basically encourage rehabilitation and development for residential and commercial properties that may not otherwise occur,” Smith said.
NRP offers incentives to Fort Scott residents who would like to improve the value of their homes, property or commercial buildings without paying the extra taxes. Those involved in the program who increase the value by 15 percent receive a rebate on the extra taxes resulting from the improvements.
Those living along the Wall Street corridor are exempt from that 15 percent requirement and will receive the rebate on any increase in value.
In the first four years of the program, with 2015 data pending, Smith said 15 commercial and 14 residential properties participated, increasing their valuations by a combined $3.6 million, more than a 265 percent return on the money rebated to the participants.
“It’s a good idea for anyone wanting to improve their property,” commission chairman Barbara Albright said of NRP.
Since its beginning, changes have been made to the program, such as giving the county tax assessor control over the procedure instead of the city.
“Last year we made a lot of procedural changes,” Smith said, saying those adjustments made the process more efficient.
Those wanting to participate in 2016 must apply before the end of the year and can then receive rebates for five-year terms for residential areas and 10 years for commercial properties.