City adopts economic incentive policy

By Pat Sunderland


In an effort to spur economic growth, improve the city's tax base and increase property values, the City of Delta has worked with Delta County Economic Development and county officials to develop an economic incentive policy.

Incentives will be offered, on a case-by-case basis, to new or expanding businesses. Eligibility requirements include:

• The business must make a "considerable" investment in plant, equipment, building, operations, and/or employees during the calendar year in which a proposal is made for incentives.

• The business must create/retain qualifying jobs with an overall annual wage that is at or above 80 percent of the overall Delta County average annual wage rate of all commercial/industrial enterprises.

• The business must be willing to provide an economic impact analysis that estimates the total economic benefit to Delta and the incentive payback period. To be eligible for incentives, the payback period must be within a defined period of time not to exceed five years.

• The business must provide ongoing company information for monitoring purposes (to be held in strict confidence).

• Upon incentive approval by the Delta City Council, the company will be required to enter into an agreement with the city guaranteeing that mutually agreed-to investment/jobs will be created within a specific period of time. If the company is unable to reach guaranteed levels, the City of Delta will have the ability to recover payments on either a full or pro-rated basis or decline to provide refunds where applicable.

• The city council reserves the right to consider additional eligibility requirements not listed.

• A business that does not otherwise meet eligibility requirements may be considered through a formal request to city council.

Incentives may include refund of building permit fees, development fees, use tax and up to 50 percent of the sales tax collected for the City of Delta from "new revenues" (for up to four years). If the business is connected to city electric, water or sewer utilities, the business may be eligible for a donation from the city up to 50 percent of the profit generated through that business's utility use.

The policy establishes the process through which incentives are awarded. The first step is through DCED, which will coordinate meetings and proposals. A followup meeting with the city manager is required to determine initial eligibility and feasibility. If it is determined the incentive policy may be applicable, the business will prepare a proposal to be forwarded to city council for consideration of a formal agreement.