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Birdwell, Thorpe Comment on Home Depot Deal
Thursday, December 20, 2007 9:25:54 AM - Monroe Ohio

By John Beagle

Home Depot’s  $33.9 million 657,000-square-foot distribution facility could ultimately bring in $15 Million in annual taxable wages. But is it a good deal for Monroe local schools? School Board Member Tom Birdwell and School Treasurer Kelley Thorpe both feel that that this is either going to be a good deal with a stable company, or the deal won’t be approved.

Tom Birdwell said, “There is a general trend in the county for warehouse type businesses to move when abatements end. Lower 747 is full of empty buildings. But despite the legal definition of 80% abatement, HD is effectively paying the full local school tax fare from day one. So I just don't see them driven to bail out when the abatement ends. I think their advantage in this abatement deal, with "donations" to the school district, serves to lower their state and federal tax income, much more than reductions in local taxes.”

When asked about the impact on schools, Kelley Thorpe replied, “ I do think if we can get the agreement hammered out and finalized, it will be a good deal for the school. The city will get to give their abatement, but the district won’t suffer financially for it. “

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