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A slow go for the ‘Zone’

By Staff | Sep 3, 2010

Last year saw four Rugby property owners apply for, and receive, local and state tax credit as part of Rugby’s Renaissance Zone program to spur property renovation in designated areas of the town.

Although just one application has been filed this year, city officials are still high on the program.

“It’s a good program and hopefully property owners will continue to utilize it in the future, said Brenda Foster, Rugby Area Job Development Authority executive director, who collects the applications before turning them over to the city council for consideration.

The program has been around for five years, but only a couple of applications were turned in during the first three years. Then came last year with four.

While the success of the program is debatable, the Renassiance Zone board knows that any application received is an encouraging sign. It shows property owners willing to make an investment which not only improves the value of the property, but helps the local tax roll.

Property owners with the designated ‘Zone’ who are approved for the state program are eligible to receive state and local property tax abatement for up to five years on a portion of the building renovation.

Applicants must make improvements of up to $50 percent of the true and full value of commercial property and up to 20 percent of the value for residential.

Rugby’s zone comprises predominately the downtown business district, but also some adjacent residential areas. Therefore, improvements can be made to homes as well as commercial building.

The state legislature launched the program over a decade ago to encourage repairs to vacant buildings and properties. The incentive was to give tax credit.

Rugby’s Renassiance Zone program was approved in 2006 and applications can be obtained at the JDA office or on their website at www.rugbyjdacom

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