By Dustin Ensinger
There are no plans to seek a tax exemption at the future site of an Orange Township medical facility, according to a representative of the company that plans to purchase the property.
The Delaware County commissioners plan to consider a tax abatement for Mount Carmel Health Systems as an incentive to build a medical facility in the county. But commissioners worry the non-profit organization could seek tax exempt status, in which case commissioners do not feel as though the abatement is necessary.
But Bill Maggard, managing director of NexCorp Group, the future owner of the property, said his for-profit company is not eligible for a tax exemption.
“It should not be a concern of the commissioners,” he said.
But Delaware County Commissioner Ken O’Brien raised the possibility of a sale of the property to Mount Carmel, which could then seek a tax exemption. O’Brien proposed a “claw back” provision that would allow the county to recover its monetary incentives were the property to be later granted tax exempt status.
Maggard said such a provision is not necessary.
“There’s no reason for us to have and agree to a provision in our agreement concerning tax exemptions,” he said.
O’Brien took the unwillingness to agree to such a provision as an indication that a tax exemption request is possible in the future.
“If you’re hesitant to the claw back, that sounds to me like there is the potentiality of an exemption request,” he said.
Not only does O’Brien want any agreement to include a claw back provision, he also wants the agreement to include a Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) District to pay for infrastructure improvements in the area. Maggard said his company would be open to a TIF.
The commissioners are considering a a five-year, 50-percent tax abatement with a cap of $2 million to bring the medical facility to Delaware County.
The proposed location is just off the east side of U.S. 23 near Home Road. It would be equipped to handle emergency care and provide rehab and wellness services.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.