FERGUS FALLS -- Otter Tail County commissioners on Tuesday, March 3, approved seven more applications for property tax abatements related to newly constructed homes.

County commissioners earlier approved a program called The Big Build, designed to spur new investment in single and two-family homes. One of the goals is to increase the tax base through a rebate of property taxes on newly constructed homes.

The seven new home projects include those who applied from the city of Ottertail, Lida Township near Pelican Rapids, Perham Township, Girard Township near Battle Lake, city of Henning, Rush Lake Township and Edna Township near Dent.

Previous applications were approved for home projects, since Jan. 1, 2000, from two applicants in Fergus Falls, and single applications from Compton Township near Bluffton, Edna Township near Dent, Leaf Lake Township near the community of Ottertail and Dane Prairie Township near Dalton.

“Each month the county board will consider approval of tax abatements on a portion of the county’s share of property taxes for eligible applicants,” said Amy Baldwin, county community development director. “The tax abatement per property will be in the amount of $5,000 for a term of up to five years.”

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The deadline for April approvals of applications from the county board is Wednesday, March 25.

Applications can be obtained by logging onto the Otter Tail County website and doing a search for “The Big Build.” This is where a county resident can obtain a housing tax rebate application.

People also can obtain applications by calling the County Community Development office at 218-998-8050.

Baldwin says this program helps people to offset the cost of building new primary residences.

County commissioners note that The Big Build program also encourages current homeowners to move up into the next tier of housing. This will leave lower level housing for first-time home buyers.

“All of this activity will help attract new workers and new residents to Otter Tail County by having quality housing available,” Baldwin said.