Rural Opportunity Zone

People are realizing that opportunities do exist in rural Kansas. In recent years, many of the brightest and best were leaving their rural communities for greener pastures. However, improved internet access is allowing rural citizens to be competitive on state, national and global levels.

In 2010, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback introduced Rural Opportunity Zones (ROZs) as a way of attracting people to Kansas. The new initiative offers two incentives: an exemption from state income tax for five years for individuals who relocate from out of state, and a state-matching program for counties to repay student loans up to $15,000 for qualifying individuals moving to a ROZ county.
A number of families have taken advantage of ROZ incentives choosing to make Hillsboro their home. The latest census shows Hillsboro having a 5.4% increase in population, many of whom are young families.

It cannot be over emphasized that rural communities must be attractive in order to attract; quality of life issues are of primary concern. Those who choose to live in a small town do so because of perceived benefits beyond the paycheck. Things like quality daycare, schools, churches, recreation and housing are often deciding factors all of which are available in Hillsboro.

Marion County Neighborhood Revitalization Program

The Marion County Neighborhood Revitalization Program provided property tax rebates on new construction and on increased valuation resulting from remodeling and or expansion projects of any type of construction including business, farm or home. Rebates are calculated on a decreasing scale for 5 years.

Upon issuance of your building permit, you may call or visit the County Appraiser’s office to see if the rehabilitation, alteration, addition, or new construction qualifies for a tax rebate on property taxes. There is a $25.00 non-refundable application fee to determine eligibility status for a tax rebate. Prior to any construction, you must contact the County Appraiser to begin the application process at (620) 382-3715.

Industrial Revenue Bonds

Property financed with the proceeds of an Industrial Revenue Bond (IRB) issue can be exempt from property taxation for a period of ten years. In addition, the cost of building materials and permanently installed equipment are exempt from state and local taxes. Hillsboro has several businesses which have been funded through IRB financing over the years.

Hillsboro E-Community Low Interest Business Loans

The Hillsboro Development Corp., Hillsboro Ventures Inc. and the City of Hillsboro seek to provide a business climate where local businesses can be successful. We are here to assist entrepreneurs to accomplish their business goals including: property acquisition, developing a business plan, business financing, etc. In 2009 Hillsboro received the E-Community designation from the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship, which allowed us to develop a low interest business loan fund through the use of state tax credits.

The purpose of the Hillsboro (Entrepreneurial) E-Community program is to encourage entrepreneurial activity in Hillsboro and the surrounding community, with a focus on business development resulting in job creation. Qualifying entrepreneurial projects including startup businesses, existing business purchases, existing business expansions or business relocations may apply for Hillsboro E-Community funding.

Applications for financial assistance will be accepted at any time throughout the year. The E-Community Leadership Team and the Financial Advisory Board will review each project idea. The following list of items should be considered for inclusion with the application. Foremost consideration will be given to applicants providing complete and sufficient information to make a proper evaluation of the project including:

  • A complete business plan
  • Financial reports and/or a bank financial application
  • Resumes and references for the proposed owner(s)
  • Employment projections

As part of the approval process, The Financial Review Board will conduct an interview with the applicant focusing the following items:

  • Explanation of the applicant’s need for funding and the specific purpose of the funding
  • Projected sales and employment and other benefits to the community
  • Matching funds received from NetWork Kansas partners and other sources
  • Local support for the project through various organizations and community leaders
  • Involvement of Network Kansas resource partners in the project

Applicants will be notified upon approval or denial for funding by the E-Community Financial Review Board. Approved applications will be forwarded to the KS Center for Entrepreneurship for processing and the disbursement of funds.

Please direct all inquiries for more information or applications to Clint Seibel, executive director:
116 East Grand, Hillsboro, KS 67063