Arkansas City Commissioners will consider a resolution Tuesday allowing increased tax rebates for homes built in a housing development in north Ark City.
If approved, property owners who build in the Compass Point Addition will be eligible for a 90 percent tax rebate of the first $150,000 of the property value for 10 years.
Current city practice allows a 75 percent rebate for seven years.
During a Friday work session, Commissioner Scott Rogers said he has visited with several contractors waiting to see what the city might do.
“They are all waiting to see what happens,” he said, “If it happens, you’ll have a lot of people going after it.”
Commissioner Jay Warren said he thought the value cap should be more than the proposed $150,000. He suggested a cap of $250,000.
“You can’t build an average house, with the lumber and everything going up, you can’t build a house for less than that.” he said. “If we do that, you’re going to see people get some interest and some developers come in.”
Warren said he would like to see the entire community offered that same rebate, which would hopefully encourage more contractors to invest.
“We’ve been chasing our tail for 40 years, and we haven’t done anything,” he said. “If we don’t do this, we’re never going to get anything.”
Warren also suggested that the city take all of the acreage where infrastructure is already in place and give the land to any developer who will build on the property within a set amount of time.
“We’ve got a lot of properties that need to be gone,” he said. “We just sit here and have to mow every year, and they are off the tax rolls. It’s silly for us to have that kind of stuff.”
Rogers said the city could also consider giving condemned properties to builders. The builder could do the demolition, saving the city money, and in exchange could have the property. But they would be required to build on it within a certain timeframe.
The Compass Point Addition was approved by the commission in 2017 and contains 52 lots. The project was originally intended to meet the housing needs of nearby Creekstone, but construction stalled when Creekstone decided against owning housing.
Because much of the infrastructure was funded by a federal grant, 40 percent of the housing has to be designated low income.