Economic Development

 

THE CITY OF RUPERT

The City of Rupert is the county seat of Minidoka County and its largest city. Rupert is strategically located 45 miles from Twin Falls, Idaho, 160 Miles from Boise, Idaho and 180 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah. The City is easily accessible to Interstate 84 which is only 4.5 miles from the city center; the interstate road system is accessed via State Highway 24 and State Highway 25. These two highways provide two separate access points to I-84. The City has several sites that are easily accessed by this well stablished road system.

The center of Rupert's Historic Business District is listed on the national Register of Historic Places and surrounds a beautiful town square, also on the historic register. The Historic Rupert Square is an active place featuring many business and community events throughout the year.

The City of Rupert has a very proactive Mayor and Council who encourage business growth and development. Rupert views measured industrial growth as an essential part of its future and strives to offer maximum incentives to new viable industry. For decades, Rupert has been the location of major cheese production facilities including Brewster West which produces cheese curds, Swiss cheese, and approximately 27 million lbs. of cheese that is sold to the "Kellogg's" company. Other major industries include Calva Products, the Idahoan Potato processing plant, large potato fresh pack plants, and a Les Schwab tire production facility. In 2013, the Frulact Group, an international fruit processing company accounted plans to build a new 200,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Rupert, Idaho. Last year, Performix Nutrition Systems, a subsidiary of Agri Beef Co., completed a new liquid cow feed manufacturing facility in Rupert.

The City of Rupert is the purveyor of electrical power inside and near city boundaries which allows for electric incentive rates for new businesses. Industrial wastewater rates are typically negotiated with each industrial customer to provide some of the most progressive and competitive wastewater rates in the region. Additionally, the City of Rupert works closely with local building officials to expedite the building permit and inspection process to prevent unnecessary delays in new industrial projects. The City has not traditionally imposed any impact fees. The City of Rupert currently has its own urban renewal agency to provide financial incentives for new business within City limits.

Wastewater

The City of Rupert is very progressive and competitive in establishing industrial wastewater rates. Industrial users primarily enjoy negotiated fees wherein the customer agrees to abide by specified loading, flow and pH limits and other such conditions in exchange for low, flat monthly rates. The arrangement is mutually beneficial; the City of Rupert gets the advantage of consistency and better predictability regarding its wastewater flows and the industrial customer benefits by having a better controlled rate and guaranteed capacity.

The City also utilizes Urban Renewal Tax Increments to help pay a connection/capacity fee to the City of Rupert, thereby significantly lowering utility rates. As an example, the City would be willing to provide wastewater discounts for a period of time with no charges to the new company by offsetting these costs with a URA-paid connection/capacity fee. Not all available sites in Rupert have adequate water or wastewater services, but through the use of tax increment financing, services can be extended to sites that do not have such access at no cost to the new business.

Wastewater Rates

  • Residential $54.91
  • Country Residential $60.63
  • Reduced Rate/Circuit Breaker $29.67
  • Basic Commercial $66.32

Natural Gas

Natural gas in the area is provided by Intermountain Gas Company. If a line would need to be extended to a site, it could be paid for by either tax increment financing and/or with Intermountain Gas Company credits. The current Intermountain Gas rates for Large Volume Firm Sales Service (LV-1) are as follows:

Monthly Rate:

Per Term Charge:

Block One: First 250,000 therms per bill @ $0.40773*
Block Two: Next 500,000 therms per bill @ $0.368424*
Block Three: Amount over 750,000 therms per bill @ $0.29644*

*Includes the following:
Cost of Gas

1) Temporary purchase gas cost adjustment Block One & Two ($0.02433) Block Three ($0.00712)
2) Weighted average cost of gas $0.29695
3) Gas transportation cost (Block One & Two only) $0.07065

Distribution Cost:

Block One - $0.06456

Block Two - $0.02607

Block Three - $0.00661

Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment:
This tariff is subject to an adjustment for cost of purchased gas as provided for in the Company's Purchase Gas Cost Adjustment Schedule.

Fire Department Services

The City of Rupert has its own fire department that is proactive in providing new business with safety and emergency training at no cost. Additionally, location of a plant in or near the City of Rupert affords an enhanced fire area rating of "4". The City Fire Department has an average three-minute response time and advanced equipment.

Urban Renewal Agency - Tax Increment Financing

Depending on the ultimate location of a business, incentives could be offered by either the City of Rupert's Urban Renewal Agenda or Minidoka County's Urban Renewal Agency. Based on an example of a property that has an assessed value of $24 million (assuming the County assess the property at 80% of a $30 Million capital expenditure), the estimated incentives available through the City's Urban Renewal Agency could provide approximately $4 million in project improvements to a new business. These improvements could include all necessary utility infrastructure, project site preparation, and so forth. These funds could as be utilized to purchase property - providing the land to a company at no cost through tax increment financing and developer-financed loans.

If located in an unincorporated area of Minidoka County, the new company will be able to utilize incentives offered by Minidoka County's Urban Renewal Agency. These incentives would be similar to those available through the City of Rupert. Using the same numbers in the example above, the assessed value of property of $24 million, the incentives through the County's Urban Renewal Agency would be approximately $2 million.

Permit Fees/Impact Fees

Facilities built in the City of Rupert are eligible to reduced or completely exempted building permit and inspection fees. The City of Rupert does not traditionally impose impact fees.

Tax Rates

The average local real and personal property tax rate for Rupert is $1.38 per $100.00 of assessed value; outside of city boundaries, the rate is $0.83 per $100.00. Properties in unincorporated areas of Minidoka County are less. These rates are lower than neighboring communities in the Magic Valley area of Southern Idaho. There is no local sales tax, but the sate of Idaho has a 6% sales tax. Personal property and sales tax generally apply to furniture, fixtures and production equipment, but there are instances when they are exempt. Those exemptions are determined on a case by case basis depending on the type of furniture, fixtures and production equipment and the type of business. Last year, the Idaho state government granted a $100,000 exemption on business personal property tax assessed value. Below you will find a break-down of the property assessment rate in the City of Rupert.

Tax Rates

The average local real and personal property tax rate for Rupert is $1.38 per $100.00 of assessed value; outside of city boundaries, the rate is $0.83 per $100.00. Properties in unincorporated areas of Minidoka County are less. These rates are lower than neighboring communities in the Magic Valley area of Southern Idaho. There is no local sales tax, but the sate of Idaho has a 6% sales tax. Personal property and sales tax generally apply to furniture, fixtures and production equipment, but there are instances when they are exempt. Those exemptions are determined on a case by case basis depending on the type of furniture, fixtures and production equipment and the type of business. Last year, the Idaho state government granted a $100,000 exemption on business personal property tax assessed value. Below you will find a break-down of the property assessment rate in the City of Rupert.

Minidoka County
DOCE 1 - Rupert
County 0.003781324
Indigent 0.000440172
Rupert 0.005516602
School 0.002528125
Highway 001118264
Cemetery 1 0.000305887
Fair 0.000110658
Historical Society 0.000033801
TOTAL 0.013834833

Minidoka County Property Tax Exemption

Under Idaho Code 63-602NN, the Board of County Commissioners may grant a property tax exemption for the market value of a new industrial plant for up to five years. Minidoka County has exercised this power for previous projects and has indicated it is willing to explore this option in lieu of tax increment financing. Again, using an assessed value of $24 million, the estimated amount of savings within the City of Rupert is $1.2 million or $600,000.00 if located in an unincorporated area of Minidoka County.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES & INCENTIVES AVAILABLE FROM THE STATE OF

IDAHO & FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

 

FINANCIAL RESOURCES & INCENTIVES AVAILABLE FROM THE STATE OF IDAHO & FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Grant Funding for Employee Training

The Idaho Department of Labor provides funds for training employees. To qualify for the incentive, the new business would have to pay certain minimum wages (approximately $12 per hour plus some benefits). The training can be in-house and can provide to a new company as much as an average one-time payment of $2,000 per employee. The Frulact Company that has selected Rupert as the location of a new manufacturing facility, received a larger payment per employee for this labor training incentive. This payment, as stated, depends on meeting the requirements of the Idaho Department of Labor and is subject to its approval. The City of Rupert will gladly assist in pursuing this grant funding through our full-time professional grant administrator/specialist.

Idaho Community Development Block Grant Funding

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides funds each year to the State of Idaho for the use as the Idaho Community Development Block Grant (IGDBG) program. In FY 2015, the State of Idaho received approximately $7.8 million. Only Cities and Counties are eligible applicants for this funding and a large portion of the funds are used for economic development. The maximum grant amount available is $500,000. Community projects with the greatest need, employment and economic impact, and the greatest level of financial participation are the most competitive. Economic development projects vying for the funds must provide employment opportunities for low and moderate-income individuals. Applications are due quarterly. Upon the decision to locate a new business to Rupert, the City can make a formal application for this grant to pay for any necessary utility infrastructure upgrades. The City of Rupert has recently applied for these grant funds and received the maximum amount for other projects. Obtaining an award for these funds is highly competitive.

Rural Community Block Grant Program Funding

The Idaho State Legislature established the Rural Community Block Grant (RCBG) program in 2001. The mission of the Rural Community Block Grant program is to provide funds to rural areas for building public infrastructure in support of economic expansion and job creation. Eligible activates include extension of streets, water and sewer lines, and/or utilities to a site for a new business or industrial park; acquisitions or construction of buildings for lease or purchase by a company; and provision of telecommunications, power, gas and rail upgrades necessary for business expansions. Funds provided by the State of Idaho to operate this program are limited, this making these funds also very competitive to obtain. Funds are awarded to projects that have a significant impact in rural areas and that support the creation of quality. well-paying jobs that include quality benefits. The City of Rupert was recently successful in obtaining funds through this grant program to assist within the expansion of Performix Nutrition Systems new facility in Rupert.

Federal New Market Tax Credits

The New market Tax Credits Program provides tax credit incentives to investors for equity investments in certified Community Development Entities, which invest in low-income communities. The credit equals 39% of the investment paid out over seven years; businesses can realize 10% to 15% back on their capital investment. The credit can also be realized at the current proposed site if it is qualified as a low-income employer. In order to qualify for this incentive, the capital expenditure of a new project must typically be at least $4 million.

New State of Idaho Tax Incentives

The State of Idaho offers tax rebates for new businesses locating to Idaho and/or to keep existing business from leaving the state. This program is called the Tax Reimbursement Incentive ("T.R.I."). This incentive provides up to 30% returns of income, payroll, and sales taxes paid by new businesses in the State for a period not to exceed 14 years. The City of Rupert will provide support in ascertaining whether a company is eligible for these incentives.

WORKFORCE INFORMATION

General Workforce Information

The Mini-Cassia area of Idaho has an estimated combined population of 43,623 people from which the proposed manufacturing operation would primarily draw its employees. The Mini-Cassia Civilian Labor Force (CLF) is estimated to exceed 23,000 people. Many of these laborers have experience in food manufacturing.

Based on information provided by the Idaho Department of Labor, the region including the Minim-Cassia area has a highly developed and widely available workforce for industrial production facilities. There are many experienced workers in the region and a considerable number of people seeking jobs.

The Idaho Department of Labor has also found that many Mini-Cassia residents commute up to 45 minutes to work in neighboring counties such as Twin Falls, Jerome, Lincoln and Gooding. These workers would also be likely additions to the pool of applicants who would make up the employees at the new business locating to Rupert.

 

Kelly Arthur Anthon, J.D.

City Administrator

P.O. BOX 426
Rupert, Idaho 83350

Telephone: (208) 436-9600

Fax: (208) 436-9920

 

 

Leslie Garner

Chief Financial Officer/Grant Specialist

P.O. BOX 426
Rupert, Idaho 83350

Telephone: (208) 436-9600

Fax: (208) 436-9920