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Quality Care Storage to come to Tiffin

Business will receive three-year tax abatement when built

TIFFIN– Another developer has made a request for tax relief in exchange for providing business and economic growth in the community.
Dean Moore, owner of Quality Care Storage in North Liberty, proposes to build a new storage business on four acres next to the Kum-N-Go convenience store in Tiffin near Interstate 80.
The land is in the Villages development, an area the city designated for revitalization in 2007. At that time, Tiffin created an Urban Revitalization Plan for the purpose of providing incentives for new commercial construction in that area, an economic development strategy provided for in Iowa Code Chapter 404. It allowed the city to give Kum-N-Go a 100-percent tax abatement for three consecutive years and plan for similar abatements for future development.
When Moore approached the city council in September, he asked for a similar deal.
“Part of his agreement with High Development, since High Development has been trying to sell land out there, that there would be a rebate or an abatement of some kind. His purchase of the land is pending some kind of approval of financial assistance,” said City Administrator/Clerk Michon Jackson.
Developer Travis Armstrong, Vice President of Land Planning for High Development, made a case for the tax abatement on Moore’s behalf.
“It makes sense to allow it here; it’s a developed lot with public utilities,” said Armstrong. “You are already paying for everything that is there, and he’s not adding a burden to your infrastructure. There isn’t a high demand for storage in Tiffin today, but he feels it will be strong in future. The abatement allows him to get it up and running in order to make it profitable.”
Though in 2007 the land was designated as an urban revitalization area, it qualifies for a tax abatement without utilizing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) dollars, an important distinction, said council member Mike Ryan.
“Because with a TIF rebate you are asking other taxpayers to help fund it. With a tax abatement, it’s the city of Tiffin saying we are going to forego collecting taxes on this property. It’s different in how it affects other governing entities besides Tiffin,” Ryan said.
And since the urban revitalization district was created in 2007, Moore’s request for abatement came with previous city support.
“That whole area that High Development has been trying to sell for a over decade has always had the condition on it that there will be some kind of financial assistance out there,” said Jackson.
In its Nov. 11 meeting, the council condensed three readings to formally approve a resolution designating the Urban Revitalization Area for High Development, as the formal steps to adopt the plan was not carried out in 2007, according to Jackson.
While approving the tax abatement was also on the Nov. 11 agenda, City Attorney Crystal Raiber reminded the council that formal action could not be taken improvements are actually made on the property. The council instead unanimously voted yes on a pre-approval for the abatement, and recommended Moore seek legal counsel to advise him on his obligations for improving the property.
“I think he should get an attorney. It’s kind of a technical process, so you want to make sure everything is done correctly,” said Raiber.
In addition to preparing for the tax incentive, the council gave consent for storage businesses to be added to the city’s list of conditional uses in a commercial zoning areas. The Villages project area is currently zoned as C2B Commercial Business, but storage facilities were not on the list of permitted uses for that zoning classification in Tiffin until the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission and council formally approved the change.