City holds ordinance until back taxes paid

Mayor Tom Watson

Mayor Tom Watson says the city of Owensboro will not consider an ordinance giving Trifecta Steel LLC tax incentives until the company has paid its back taxes to Daviess Fiscal Court.

The Owens-boro City Commission heard first reading of an ordinance on Tuesday that would rebate 1% of the occupational fees for 20 new employees the company has or is hiring under an investment it announced in 2015.

But Trifecta Steel, which designs and fabricates steel building components in Owensboro, owes the county $13,682.43 in unpaid 2018 tangible property taxes, according to a list the Messenger-Inquirer published on Tuesday.

City Manager Nate Pagan said the city was not aware that the company owed the county for delinquent taxes when the ordinance was heard in first reading on Tuesday. He said the city does not have access to the county's delinquent tax rolls until they are published in the newspaper.

Watson said he has instructed the city staff to hold the ordinance unless or until those back taxes are paid.

"We want to make sure that they're up to date on what they owe before we provide public incentive dollars," he said. "I'm glad this was just the first reading."

Trifecta was a subcontractor involved in the construction of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. The mayor said he knows the company did run into some trouble with timing during the construction phase of that project, but he did not know the circumstances of why the company's taxes had not been paid. He floated the possibility that it may be a mistake, in fact, suggesting that perhaps the taxes had been "lost in the mail."

Repeated calls to Trifecta Steel went unanswered Wednesday afternoon.

Austin Ramsey, 270-691-7302, aramsey@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @austinrramsey

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