Last week the Plymouth Common Council conducted a public hearing for the untimely filing of the tax abatement compliance form (CF1) of Complexus Medical.
Greg Hildebrand, President of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation addressed the city council and said that Complexus Medical is trying to get into compliance with their CF1 for the first year of their tax abatement. He said there was some confusion in the process between the business, the City of Plymouth, and Marshall County. Hildebrand said, “This one just fell through the cracks, and we just want to make sure it gets picked up.”
In checking the compliance form, initially, Complexus anticipated 10 new additional employees and during a visit last week there were approximately 20 employees.
Mayor Senter said he and three others took a tour last week of the facility and he commented, “What an amazing place. So clean and bright.” Hildebrand also commented that they are hiring at the top of the pay scale for machinists.
Councilman Greg Compton asked if they (Complexus) just didn’t file the required paperwork.
City Attorney Sean Surrisi said there are a couple of steps to be able to claim the tax abatement requestor must comply with. There is a form that must be filed with the county that says the company is claiming the tax abatement and then they must annually file the CF1. Surrisi said Complexus didn’t file the initial form with the county to initiate the process last year and didn’t file the CF1 with the city to be approved by the City Council and sent to the county.
There is a procedure under state statute to consider waiving non-compliance with a resolution passed by the City Council.
Councilman Compton asked if there was a fine for not properly filing the paperwork and continued, “There doesn’t seem to be any incentive to have someone file on time because was always approve it.”
Surrisi explained there is no fine but if the paperwork isn’t filed timely the company could lose the tax abatement for the year. If the City Council chooses not to waive the non-compliance the company would be able to claim the tax abatement which would be detrimental. Surrisi estimated that there have been 4 or 5 companies that haven’t filed the paperwork in time during the last 11 years or so.
Compton recommended looking at implementing a fine of approximately $200 if the paperwork isn’t filed in a timely manner.
Councilman Jeff Houin asked if there was a procedure in place to remind companies that have received a tax abatement to file their compliance forms. He suggested working with companies instead of trying to punish them for non-compliance.
Hildebrand said the Marshall County Economic Development Corp. sends out a letter in March reminding them of the mid-May timeline.
The Plymouth City Council approved the waiver of non-compliance for Complexus with a 7-0 vote.