|By G. Michael Dobbs|
SPRINGFIELD The Praise and Glory Church of God in Christ, Inc. is the first property owner to take advantage of a plan that waives interest on back taxes owned on a building.
The church owns the building at 143-147 State Street and has entered into a Community Re-Investment Municipal Tax Repayment Agreement. Salvatore Calvanese, the city's treasurer and Collector, explained to Reminder Publications that the church made a payment of $302,123.39 in back taxes and interest and another payment of $8,751.88 in current taxes on Nov. 1.
Under the terms of the agreement, the church has 18 months six months before the agreement and 12 months afterwards to invest at least twice the amount of taxes currently owed into improvements for the property.
The church must document those expenditures and, based on the city's review and confirmation of those improvements, the city will waive $100,085.02 in interest due and remove the liens on the property.
Calvanese said this property had back taxes going back as far as 1995. He said there are two other businesses currently going through this repayment and re-investment process.
There are four programs to help delinquent taxpayers that were approved by the Finance Control Board in September two plans for business properties and two for residential properties. Additional information on the plans can be obtained at the Treasurer's Office in City Hall.
Calvanese said the plans were a win-win situation for the city and for owners wishing to invest in their properties.