The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

January 1, 2013

Canola TIF plan a good one for Enid

ENID, Okla. — It was good to see the Enid Tax Increment Review Committee make quick work of a plan for incentives to bring a $200 million canola processing plant to Enid.

The week before Christmas, the committee approved a resolution creating a Tax Increment Finance district for construction of the Northstar Agri Industries canola processing plant east of the city.

Under the plan, Northstar would receive up to $15 million for the construction costs of the plant. Another $12 million would go to the city for infrastructure improvements required to build the plant.

A TIF district creates incentive for new development by allowing a portion of the ad valorem tax revenue created by building new business to be returned to the developing company to defray start-up investment.

Northstar will build the processing plant on almost 400 acres between 66th and 78th about one mile north of U.S. 412.

The Northstar canola plant will have an estimated $3.75 million annual payroll, with 55 full-time jobs. The plant will be able to process 2,200 tons of canola per day, or 760,000 tons per year. It will include a full refinery capable of annually producing 580 million pounds of food-grade refined canola oil and 450,000 tons of canola meal.

This is a good deal for the Enid area. It will give farmers in the area a market for their crops, and it will mean jobs here.

The TIF resolution now must be considered by Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, and then must go before Enid City Commissioners for final approval. If the resolution is approved and the TIF district created, Northstar plans to have the canola plant fully operational by March 2015.

Some people have taken a dim view on the TIFs the city has been working with to bring businesses here. But, they have been shown to work.

Enid benefitted from the TIF created for the major AdvancePierre Foods expansion a few years ago.

Enid officials are just doing what officials in any other city would do. The way the game is played in economic development everywhere is incentives. If you don’t give out the incentives, you don’t get the development.

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