By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Commissioners question PILOTs
Photo by Michael Fousert on Unsplash

County Commissioners had questions regarding the PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) programs the Industrial Development Board have offered during the County Commission meeting Monday night. 

During the meeting, IDB chairman Jenny Nafrada addressed the commission and tried to explain what the IDB does. Commissioner Carl D. Bouldin asked her how many active PILOTs the IDB has and she said she believes there are four. In a Budget and Finance meeting earlier this month, commissioners discussed how Novares has a PILOT, but they have been closed since May. 

“Everyone in this room knows we have one of these companies that have not lived up to their obligations,” said Bouldin.

“Correct,” said Nafrada.

“It would be beneficial for people to have a look at those PILOTs to know who is overseeing that if they are not fulfilling their obligations or if they’re behind on their money, who is the one who is overseeing it to make the termination of those contracts?” asked Bouldin.

Nafrada explained the PILOTs get looked at every year at the end of the calendar year. 

“The companies themselves have to send a fiscal report to the state treasurer every year to show if they are or are not compliant with their PILOT. That goes to its own audit at the state and then we bill them and check in December. It gets paid in either January, or actually I think we bill them in January at the end of the year and then it gets paid in February. If they are not compliant then we have to go back to the original contract for the PILOT and see what terms were set up in that original agreement and then abide by those terms,” said Nafrada.

Commissioner Cole Taylor said he will always be in favor of oversight on anything involving taxpayer money. 

“I know with the Novares deal if I’m not mistaken, and correct me if I’m wrong, they shut their doors in May, correct? I think they shut their doors in May. So from May to December they should have been paying 100 percent of tax because they weren’t upholding their contract,” said Taylor.

“We don’t do that on a monthly basis. We do that once a year and once that gets paid then if it is due to the county or to the city, then it gets paid to the county or city. It is not a monthly audit on them, it is a once a year audit,” said Nafrada.

The County Commission was supposed to vote on a resolution that would give the county more oversight in IDB negotiations, but it was removed from the agenda due to a conflict in the charter. The Economic and Agricultural Development Committee will be revisiting the resolution in an upcoming meeting.