WARSAW — The redevelopment commission is rolling the dice, hoping a $4,000 contribution to a lobbying group could result in a change in the law that would open the door to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Warsaw is one of 23 communities that have certified tech parks in which an increment of revenues from sales and income tax within the park can be used to benefit the park in the future.
Historically, that fund had been capped when a community reaches the $5 million mark in increment revenues. That was changed this year by state lawmakers so that the parks can continue to collect up to $100,000 after hitting $5 million.
However, the new policy includes a ‘reset” that requires communities to start from zero in the financial calculation.
The lobbying group wants to see that $100,000 level raised to $500,000 and see the reset provision removed.
Warsaw is still several years away from hitting it’s $5 million cap, but officials want to see the law changed so the city can benefit from it years from now.
Among the uses, the money can be used to support incubators and accelerators, two strategies used to help boost new start-ups, City Plan Director Jeremy Skinner said.
The redevelopment board agreed to provide $4,000 this year and represents the seventh park to agree to support a new lobbying effort. A redevelopment board member questioned why more communities were not opting to support the lobbying effort.
Skinner said some of the parks have not been as successful while more mature parks don’t need the money.
“We’re one of the newer ones,” Skinner said. “We have some things we want to accomplish. We want to create an accelerator/incubator. This would potentially be the on-going funding source once it’s created.”
Skinner suggested they commit to spending $4,000 now and then consider another $4,000 a year later.
“Eight thousand dollars to potentially receive in the future a half a million dollars a year is probably worth exploring,” Skinner said.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer also spoke in favor of the lobbying effort, saying it “makes sense to give it a try.”