ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Tio proposes blanket ERA in city

COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City’s council is taking a blanket Economic Revitalization Area (ERA) under consideration.ERA is a specific designation required for business owners to request a tax abatement for economic development.Currently, economic development and revitalization areas within the city limits are patchy and numerous — there are 25-30 different designated areas.Whitley County Economic Development Corporation President Alan Tio said putting a blanket ERA designation throughout the city limits would help simplify the tax abatement process. As it stands, if a company wants to apply for a tax abatement, it would first have to apply to be an ERA, an additional step that Tio said can overcomplicate the process.“This would help simplify it,” Tio said. “Instead of having patchwork throughout the city, it would be an overlay.”Tio said Whitley County went through a similar process three years ago in the U.S. 30 Corridor, the area on U.S. 30 from CR 300 East to CR 800 East (county line).To read the rest of this story, see the Sept. 13 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.