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(Atlantic) The Atlantic City Council will hold a public hearing on the revised Urban Revitalization Plan during regular session Wednesday night.


Following the hearing the council will vote on the first of three readings whether or not to implement this plan with the purpose to encourage development within the city for both residential and commercial.  The Southwest Iowa Planning Council partnered with the city to develop this plan. 

John McCurdy, Executive Director for SWIPCO, helped the city develop this policy. 


“An abatement is basically if you do an improvement that raises the taxable value of your property then the city will agree for a period of time to reduce the taxes that you would pay on that improvement as a way to give an incentive to individuals and companies to locate here in Atlantic,” explained McCurdy.


McCurdy says the reason for the plan is to address the deteriorating housing stock in Atlantic.


“The goal of this plan is to reverse a trend that we’ve seen, and identified through studies, which is that the housing stock in Atlantic had continued to deteriorate and to provide a tool to incentivize individuals to improve their housing, to build new housing and as well as to add incentive for commercial development,” said McCurdy.,


McCurdy says the plan identifies the whole city as an abatement area but it does make a distinction between areas north of 14th street and areas to the south of 14th.  McCurdy says the plan is based on a housing assessment survey that determined there was a greater need for housing rehabilitation north of 14th thus creating two different areas. 

So, here is how it works… If a homeowner is improving an existing home located south of 14th street, they will be able to get a 100-percent tax abatement of the added value up to $75,000. For new homes built south of 14th Street that are worth say $150,000- to-$250,000,  the first $75,000 of  tax value would be all abated for a period of five years. 

McCurdy says residences north of 14th Street both  new construction or rehab will get 100-percent of that taxable value abated  over a period of  five years. 

He says for commercial construction it is the same throughout the entire city based on a sliding scale up to the first $250,000 in value. It starts out you 80-percent of the value, then 70-percent, 60, 50 and finally 40-percent. 

The taxable value won’t be determined until the project is assessed. 

The plan has actually evolved throughout the process and the ordinance if approved would expire in 2017. McCurdy says the intent is to spur new development that may not have happened otherwise. The key is that overtime the city’s tax base will rise more than the amount abated. 

Tom Robinson
August 5, 2014

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