UCON, Idaho - A local company got a huge tax break from Bonneville County commissioners Thursday.
This is the first time the county has ever made a decision like this. Cives Steel Co. has only been in operation for five months, and many wonder why such a prominent company would choose a small town like Ucon. Some may say it all comes down to tax dollars. The city is in need of bigger companies. County Commissioner Roger Christensen said a move like this is admirable.
"This was a very good effort for a small community to attract a business of this magnitude and quality," he said.
Many believe Cives chose Ucon because there was a possibility for tax exemptions, which is a deal that not too many businesses would pass up. The company wanted a 100 percent tax break for five years, but the county and school board didn't agree.
"We take their input, the taxing districts' input, and find a solution that's fair to both sides," said Christensen.
The county's final decision was a partial tax exemption of 50 percent.
The general manager of Cives did not wish to give a statement on the company's new tax exemption or what its plans were. Cives is not the only company that has something to gain from a new state statute. Ucon hopes to attract even more companies with the county's new ability to waive property taxes as an incentive to bring businesses to the city.
"So the taxing entities recommended the 50 percent, then they could collect new revenue that they wouldn't have and offer an incentive that would attract a new company," said Christensen.
The idea is to get other companies that aren't competing with small local businesses to bring forth jobs. which is exactly why the county is providing this incentive.
"Part of it is to get them here and make them profitable, so they can expand once they get here," said Christensen
Cives will only pay $75,000 in property taxes instead of the original $150,000, which is variable.
There are some taxpayers who aren't totally on-board with the new state law that allows the waiving of property taxes for incentives, but no one at the meeting Thursday made any comments in that direction.
UPDATE: Cives released the following statement on the tax break:
"Cives wishes to thank County Commissioners Roger Christensen, Dave Radford and Lee Staker for their support in bringing jobs to Idaho through this tax exemption.
"We would also like to thank Bonneville County, the City of Ucon, Bonneville County Joint School District 93 and the Idaho Department of Commerce whose support and guidance has been instrumental in bringing quality jobs to this community.
"We at Cives are extremely thankful for this show of support and look forward to being a long term partner for the community, the County and the State of Idaho.
"Thank you for your continued support.
"Richard F. Connelly