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Tax Breaks Advance For Biotech Research Park

Tax abatement for a 344-acre biotech office park south of the Cerner Three Trails Campus has cleared committee and advances to the city council floor.

The Plans Zoning and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday agreed with PIEA development authorities that Oxford on the Blue merits 26-year property tax abatement.

The proposal calls for 100 percent abatement for 10 years and 50 percent for an additional 15 year, but Councilman Ed Ford explained that not every part of the project is expected to get the full 25-year break.

“Some developments might have a 25 year tax abatement, another one might have a 10-year tax abatement, another one might not have any tax abatement,"Ford explained.

As the specific projects are proposed, the council would evaluate them one-by-one.

Councilman John Sharp addressed concerns about depriving the school district of the tax revenue by saying the whole 344 acres now produces only $11,400 in annual property taxes, which is divided among jurisdictions including the city, county, school district and junior college district.

Oxford on the Blue is a project conceived and promoted by James Stowers III, son of the founders of the Stowers Institute, of which he is a board member.  Bringing together the parcels of land in the 344-acre site under one ownership has been a 10-year project.

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