Resident recruitment program boosts business relocation efforts in Bartlesville | Local Business News

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The Bartlesville City Council this month OK’d the incentives for two other companies: ConocoPhillips Permian Asset Acquisition and Phoenix Rising Aviation, an aircraft maintenance firm. Software company HeraSoft was OK’d for the program in September.

“We knew we were missing an opportunity to grow our community and our tax base,” Bartlesville Development Authority President David Wood said in a statement. “So we decided to try a new approach, and that’s how the Resident Recruitment Program was born. …

“Generally, the job creation cost is the same as traditionally offered — the difference is merely the beneficiary, the employee rather than or instead of the employer. In many respects, the return on the public investment is higher as the recipient must live in the local taxing jurisdiction. For this reason, targeted employee relocation incentives have proven to be the preferred use of job creation incentives.”

The stimulus money, which requires City Council approval, is for “primary industry” companies adding or relocating at least 10 jobs, Batchelder said. The recruitment program — for which $160,000 has been allocated to date — is funded through a half-cent economic development sales tax that goes before voters every five years, he said.

Bartlesville’s economic device is similar to Tulsa Remote, a 3-year-old program that offers people $10,000 to live in the city for one year. It has brought more than 1,200 people to the municipality with more than 90% of them staying after their one-year commitment and many putting down long-term roots.

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