A growing Seymour medical practice received a $5.475 million tax abatement from the Jackson County Council on Wednesday evening.
Dr. Nick Lemming made the request, which passed unanimously during the council’s monthly meeting at the courthouse, for that tax break on behalf of Family Medical Partners LLC. The firm is in the early stages of building a 21,000-square-foot medical center on North Ewing Street at Redding Road.
Family Medical Partners has six physicians and currently operates out of Jackson Medical Building at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Lemming said.
The new center, just north of the city limits, would double the space the practice has available now and would provide room for additional physicians in the future. One doctor, Sam Borcherding, will be joining the practice in July, and there are plans to add more, Lemming said.
The practice has 46 employees at this time and anticipates seven to 10 new ones after the move is made, Lemming said. The total payroll is $2.9 million with the new employees expected to add $480,000 to that number, according to the statement of benefits for real estate improvements provided by the firm.
The abatement means the practice would be 100% exempt from paying taxes in the first year. The second year, 85% of the property taxes would be exempt. It would drop to 66% the third year; 50% the fourth; 34% the fifth; and 17% the sixth. The total property tax bill would be due the seventh year.
Councilman Brian Thompson questioned whether construction has begun on the center because once it has, a tax abatement cannot be approved.
County attorney Susan Bevers said there has been movement of dirt at the site, but she didn’t believe that was considered construction.
Thompson also said he had some concerns about setting precedent because the council has traditionally only approved abatements for new industries that manufacture product or existing manufacturers planning to expand. In most cases, but not all, those manufacturers also plan to add employees and increase payroll.
Councilman Michael Davidson said the medical practice has not been paying property taxes but will be in the future, and there are new jobs tied to the project.
Thompson said despite his apprehension about the request, it did appear to meet the criteria for an abatement, and it would be benefiting the community.