The City of Springfield welcomes new business investment and supports the businesses that have chosen the city as their home. A vibrant business community improves the quality of life for all residents.
Quality of life and economic development are interdependent goals. Private investment and job creation can build a stronger community. Community improvement leads to maintaining a vibrant community that will keep existing businesses and attract new ones.
Economic development incentives, if used carefully, can help maintain and build employment opportunities and the property tax base the city needs to be strong.
We consider the judicious use of incentives for projects which demonstrate a substantial and significant public benefit by constructing public improvements in support of developments that will, by creating new jobs and retaining existing employment; eliminate blight, strengthen the employment and economic base of the city, increase property values and tax revenues, reduce poverty, create economic stability, upgrade older neighborhoods, facilitate self-sufficiency, and implement the city's Comprehensive Plan and economic development strategy.
- Developers are strongly encouraged to discuss their projects with City staff prior to filing any applications for incentives. We encourage developers to meet with taxing jurisdictions that will be affected by the incentive.
- All discretionary incentives will be subject to a "but for" test. There must be a finding by the City Council that the project would not occur, or would only occur at a significantly smaller scale, or will not be financially feasible or stable, or that public benefit will not occur if the incentive is not provided. Discretionary incentives will only be granted to those projects that would not otherwise occur if incentives were not provided, unless the City Council finds there to be an overriding public benefit or a reduction in costs that would otherwise be paid by the City. Discretionary incentives will be granted only at the level necessary to make the project financially feasible.
- The City encourages sustainable development and will consider additional incentives for those projects that achieve a Silver rating or higher from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
- The City will consider additional incentives for projects that create or retain quality jobs that pay wages equal to or higher than the Greene County average wage and offer competitive benefits.
- The City's General Fund monies will not be pledged for economic development projects, except in extraordinary cases.
- Taxes will not be reduced below the base year, as established by the individual redevelopment plans, after an incentive is approved.
- The City will not waive City permit, development, or incentive fees.
- All projects receiving incentives must be consistent with the City's Comprehensive Plan and must comply with all applicable city zoning and building codes.
- Since each project is unique, every proposal will be evaluated on individual merits and overall contribution to the local economy and the City's goals.
- The City shall require periodic reporting evidencing compliance with the requirements of the program and measuring the economic benefit to the city and the region.