The Douglas County Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved tax breaks for the hotel project at Ninth and New Hampshire streets.
8-22-12 County Commission agenda ( .PDF )
The tax incremental financing district for the project will capture between $300,000 and $400,000 in county sales tax over a 20-year period. That money will be repaid to the developers.
Commissioner Mike Gaughan asked Lawrence planner Diane Stoddard if the hotel’s guest tax would benefit the county. The guest tax goes to the city, county administrator Craig Weinaug said, but the city often uses those funds for historic preservation and promotion projects that are joint ventures with the city.
Stoddard said that the commission had the ability to veto its portion of the tax break, as does the school board, before Friday. All three commissioners expressed support for the project.
The city approved its portion of the TIF in its meeting Tuesday.
In other business from Wednesday’s meeting:
• The commission also unanimously approved the creation of a joint economic development council, a project Commissioner Nancy Thellman has been working on with Lawrence city commissioners and members of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. Thellman said that she didn’t know the timeline going forward but that the group will soon be looking to appoint members. The county seats will include one commissioner and two members of the public.
• The burn ban for unincorporated parts of the county remains in effect. The commission will again vote whether to extend it during next week’s meeting.
• The Berry Plastics project got official approval of its bond issue. The warehouse project will go forward thanks to a $21 million bond with the Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company of St. Louis.
The commission will next meet at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday on the second floor of the County Courthouse, 1100 Mass. Two or more members may also be present at a regional transportation study meeting from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall.