Utility Board to recommend council consider utility abatements

Credits would provide temporary rebates on bills for new businesses, resident employees

The Utility Board voted unanimously to request the Fulton City Council approve a utility credit incentive what would provide temporary savings on utility bills for new or existing businesses adding full-time jobs to the local economy, as well as their high-paid employees on residential bills.

Bruce Hackmann of the Fulton Area Development Corporation presented an outline of the incentive plan to the board at its monthly meeting Monday, which would reward businesses adding 30 new full-time jobs at 40 hours a week, with each job paying $10 an hour or more.

The businesses would receive 50 cents an hour per new job created in credit on their monthly utility bill for three years, or for as long as that business maintains those jobs. For each new job paying $12.50 an hour or more, the business would receive a $1 an hour credit.

Hackmann told the board the purpose of the credit would be to make Fulton a more appealing environment to compete with surrounding communities for business investment.

“If you don’t have a tax abatement these days, you can hardly get to second base,” Hackmann said. “It’s unfortunate, it’s not the world we want to live in, but that’s the way of it.”

The minimum benefit, paid to a business creating the minimum 30 jobs required at $10 an hour, would save $31,200 in utility bills a year. The maximum benefit, for 100 jobs at $12.50 an hour, would mean a savings of $208,000 a year.

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