Curling Club abatement passes city; county nextOn Monday the Two Harbors City Council approved property tax abatement for up to 20 years for the Two Harbors Curling Club.
On Monday the Two Harbors City Council approved property tax abatement for up to 20 years for the Two Harbors Curling Club.
The city and club are working on a deal to transfer ownership of the facility from the city to the club. The city doesn’t currently collect property taxes on the property. If it did, tax estimates are $6,000 to $7,000 a year. A public hearing was held Monday with no comments on the abatement.
The curling club is also hoping to get abatement from Lake County. The Lake Superior School District has also been asked. The district and county don’t currently collect property taxes either. The amount of property taxes that would be collected on the property would be about $13,000 to $14,000 in total from all three entities. If the district and county both agree to abate the property with the city, the longest an abatement could last would be 15 years. If only two entities agree, the abatement could last up to 20 years.
According to the county’s tax abatement finance policy, no agreement will have a term exceeding 10 full property tax years. It also requires the property owner to pay a $2,000 application fee. Any additional direct county costs will also be billed to the applicant.
After the application is processed, the county will hold a public hearing and then decide if it will enter into the agreement. County board members have said they would approve an abatement.
After the agreement is approved the applicant must report to the county auditor by Aug. 1 on each of the agreements as to their progress toward project goals and other compliance issues.
Applicants must file for abatement by April 1 of the year prior to the year tax abatement is to be effective. By Aug. 1, all required steps of the application process must be completed so the auditor can incorporate the approximate property tax levy and budget appropriations. By Dec. 1, “the county and all the parties to the agreement will execute the agreement prior to Dec. 1 of the year preceding the year in which the tax abatement is to be effective.”
The curling club and city are still working on the final details of running the golf pro shop at the course. One idea has the city collecting revenues from the club while the curling club would get a percentage of greens fees. Both the curling club and city have proposals about how the clubhouse would be run.
The city is also still working on an agreement for a maintenance person for the course.
“Everyone understands time is of the essence,” said Lee Klein, city administrator.
Most council members would prefer to see someone working on the maintenance equipment for the course as soon as possible. Members of public works planned to look at the equipment this week and see where it stood.
“As soon as we get this contract, call a special meeting,” Mayor Randy Bolen said. A decision on a hire could be made as early as this week.
The council also voted to go forward with setting aside cash to pay off $500,000 bonds on the golf course, easing growing interest costs. The money would come from the electrical service enterprise fund.