A booming Brazil business will be getting a little help.
The Clay County Council approved the first reading of a tax abatement resolution for JWS Machine, Inc., during Monday's meeting.
The personal property abatement would be for new equipment purchased by the company at a cost of $145,660 and has already began production.
"We are currently working on a project to manufacture portable physical therapy machines," CEO Jeff Stark told the council. "In the past couple of years the company has really grown a lot and we anticipate the growth to continue."
JWS Machine, 12013 North County Road 200 West, Brazil, began operations in June 1993 and currently has 38 employees, a number Stark anticipates to increase nearly three fold in the next 7 years.
"We expect to add two or three new employees in the upcoming months," he said. "We are hoping to be around 100 employees between 2012 and 2015."
The council is considering giving the abatement a seven-year term and the company has no problem with the clawback agreement and remitting 5 percent of the abated taxes to the Clay County Redevelopment Commission.
"Typically we lean toward a five-year abatement for personal property," Clay County Council Mike McCullough said. "But with as quickly as the company is growing in recent years, I see no problem in allowing a little longer to help them out even more."
The abatement will be up for a public hearing and final action during the January meeting.
The council also conducted a non-binding review of the budgets for all taxing units within Clay County.
The review is a new concept mandated by the state to provide one final look at budgets before they are officially submitted to the state for approval.
Of the 22 taxing units within the county, the council approved all but two.
They passed over the budget for Perry Township as one was not submitted to the Clay County Auditor's Office, but the council had the most concerns with the budget for Brazil Township.
Due to funding issues, the Brazil Township Office has been closed for a number of months and was requesting an approximate 60 percent increase in funding for the upcoming year.
However, the council considered the disparity in the request for township assistance from the levy compared to the actual amount awarded, and recommended to reduce the requests to last year's amounts.
Also, the township owes the county $20,000 for a loan the Clay County Commissioners granted in 2007.
All modifications are only recommendations and may not reflect the final decision the state and Department of Local Government Finance hand down.
Other business conducted during Monday's council meeting included:
* Voting against instituting a Local Option Income Tax for 2009,
* Amended salaries for one employee of the Clay Community Corrections Department and three WIC employees. In all cases, funding for the salaries come from state or grant monies,
* Approved a total of approximately $6,400 in transfers within the Clay Circuit Court and Information Services budgets for various needs and technological upgrades, and
* Approved $12,577 in additional appropriations for the commissioners, circuit court, Emergency Management Agency, Local Planning and Reassessment funds for various expenses incurred, including postage and legal notices for the tax sale, which takes place Friday.
The next meeting of the Clay County Council will be Monday, Jan. 5, 2009, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.