Greenville City Council changes clawback agreement

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:16 am on Friday, November 23, 2012

GREENVILLE — The Greenville City Council approved two property tax exemption agreements for real and personal property regarding future agreements.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, the council took a look at the the old property tax exemption agreement – a clawback agreement – and made it into two documents, which was proposed by the city’s legal counsel.

A clawback agreement requires repayment of tax abatements if a company moves or fails to create jobs that are agreed upon in a 12-year abatement.

“The reason for the changes are due to the fact that our agreement hadn’t been updated in decades,” said City Manager George Bosanic.

Some of the changes in the agreement include requiring clawbacks if jobs and investments are terminated versus moved, requiring confirmation jobs have been created through an annual report, requiring total payback versus a graduated scheduled and preventing a company to file for tax appeal on industrial facilities tax exemptions, according to a document presented to the city council.

“We have been assured by our legal counsel – who represents several cities – that all of these changes are consistent and common throughout other cities,” Bosanic said.

Assistant City Manager Cameron Van Wyngarden said a majority of the time, the agreements do work out well for a business, but sometimes a business fails to fulfill its commitment under the agreement.

“The revised language in the agreement provides additional leverage to the city in the instance that the company does not fulfill its commitment under the agreement,” Van Wyngarden said.  “This provides a strong disincentive for a company to leave Greenville before the agreement expires. This protects Greenville jobs and community investment into the company by way of tax abatements.”

In other business, the council approved an amended towing contract.

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