CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Commissioners didn’t take any action Tuesday after discussing TYK Brick Refractories’ request to have its property taxes waived on the unused buildings.
Commissioner Mark B. McCracken said early last week, he fielded a telephone call from TYK with the request. He believed the former brick plant closed in 2007 and said they’ve been attempting to sell or lease the remaining buildings.
According to him, TYK had buildings removed and afterward had its property tax assessment changed. He said at that time, its property taxes were lowered by about 40 percent.
“Now, they want them waived (on the buildings),” he said. McCracken said that Irvona Borough council members would like to see the building stand rather than be demolished.
McCracken said he’d contacted a representative of the Glendale Area School District. He was advised its board wouldn’t meet until Nov. 15 and couldn’t consider any action until then.
He said TYK representatives from Japan were in the state last week, which he believed had prompted the request. He said when he approached county Solicitor Kim Kesner last week that he, too, was notified the commissioners wouldn’t be able to take any action until Tuesday’s meeting.
Commissioner John A. Sobel said they needed to discuss the request with members of the Irvona Borough Council and the Glendale Area School District. Also, he pointed out if they waived TYK’s property taxes, it would set an “incredible precedent” and possibility result in similar requests from other struggling businesses.
“These folks can go to the tax appeal board and seek lower taxes if they think the buildings aren’t being viably used. They have been known to lower taxes,” Commissioner Chairperson Joan Robinson-McMillen said.
McCracken said he’d suggested that they turn the buildings over to an economic development agency. But he said it appeared as though they weren’t interested in that particular option.
“They want to retain the 20-something acre property and not pay taxes (on the buildings). TYK is fine with paying the taxes on the land portion. They just want them waived on the buildings,” he said. Kesner indicated that he wasn’t aware of any authority by which the commissioners could waiver property taxes.
McCracken asked if there would be any value to meeting with members of the Irvona Borough Council and Glendale Area School District to make sure everyone was on the same page. Both Sobel and Robinson-McMillen said they didn’t oppose meeting with them and suggested Kesner also be present.
McCracken agreed to coordinate the meeting date and time on behalf of the commissioners.