Demopolis Council suspends tax abatements for new businesses

Published 4:19 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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Special to the Demopolis Times

Three items concerning tax abatements received unanimous approval from the Demopolis City Council at its meeting March 21.

At the request of Mayor Woody Collins, the council agreed to suspend the tax abatement program for new businesses beginning April 1. Collins said the current incentive program is out of date. The finance council is working on a new one and should have it ready for the Council to consider in April.

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Under the ruling, any business that has submitted its paperwork already will be allowed to continue the process.

The suspension of the program occurred when Di-A-Dex, LLC, a new coffee shop, requested an abatement under the incentive program. The owner is investing some $171,000, Collins said. Under the existing program, it will get half its sale taxes rebated for three years.

Kirkham Solar Farm, LLC, also requested an abatement for the section of its solar installation that is within the city limits. D.J. Shelton, who works for the company developing the project, told the Council in the work session that Kirkham Solar Farm not only will develop and own the installation, but will operate it as well.

Shelton said the 800- to 1,200-acre solar generation facility is expected to operate for up to 40 years. The abatement for the company would not include taxes for education or Whitfield Regional Hospital and would continue for 20 years.

He said of the expected $300,000 a year in taxes, the state would receive $50,000, the county, $150,000, and the city, $100,000.

Shelton said construction costs are estimated to be $125 million, and the company will try to hire locally as much as possible. 

“We’re in your community for 30 years,” he said.

In other action, the Council approved the updated floodplain ordinance required by the federal government and rescheduled the second meeting in May to May 23.

The Alabama Forestry Commission recognized Demopolis with the Tree City Award. This is the 38th year the city has earned the honor.