Build Your Future in Otter Tail County

Posted On: December 20, 2019

Otter Tail County wants you to build your future here. . .  and you can with local supports for housing investment. A County Housing Summit was hosted on December 4, 2019 to launch ‘The Big Build’ initiative. The goal of The Big Build is to build new or preserve or rehabilitate 5,000 housing units by 2025. Building the future begins with expanding housing opportunities and reinvestment throughout Otter Tail County. As part of the initiative a new property tax rebate program has been implemented by the Community Development Agency of Otter Tail County.

The need to expand housing opportunities is critical in addressing the county’s workforce needs. There is limited projected population growth in the county, with Otter Tail County currently lagging the growth of peer counties. For the past several years, Otter Tail County has made an intentional investment in rural rebound efforts to make the county front and center when people are looking for a place to relocate, especially within their prime working years. However, there is a low supply of housing to meet the needs for newcomers or existing residents seeking options. The 2019 Otter Tail County Housing Summit was held in order to start the discussion around these challenges and opportunities.

Local government officials, employers, housing developers, contractors, lenders, partner agencies, landowners and other stakeholders who are impacted by the housing challenge attended the Housing Summit. Participants learned about available resources to support housing efforts and discussed local examples of partnership success. They also found ways the County is supporting housing investment. A property tax rebate program for new single and two-family homes was highlighted at the event. The purpose of the program is to encourage the construction of new primary residences and to inspire people to replace dilapidated housing structures within the county.

Otter Tail County Housing Summit at Thumper Pond in Ottertail

The rebate program allows for up to $10,000 in a property tax rebate for new single-family construction. This includes the rebate of the County portion of the property taxes as well as the City portion of the taxes in select communities (currently, Fergus Falls, New York Mills, Ottertail, Pelican Rapids and Vergas) for up to five years. There is a wide range of available choices from rural acreage to new subdivisions in communities. The expansion of housing opportunities is a county-wide priority and partnerships are key. The availability of housing and workforce are inter-connected, so community support and understanding are critical.

Information and an application for the tax rebate program can be found online at bigbuildotc.com. If you have questions about the qualifications and stipulations of the program or to learn about how the County can support other housing development opportunities, please email Amy Baldwin or call 218-998-8050.

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