Local Option Economic Development Plan
The City of Fremont invests Local Option Economic Development Plan funds for the purpose of attracting new industries and retaining or expanding existing businesses in Fremont. Funds are offered to businesses in the form of low or 0% interest loans and performance-based forgivable loans (grants), based upon creation of new jobs and investment in Fremont. Job creation criteria are detailed in the application, including wages and benefits. Businesses must provide matching funds for the project.
Local Option Economic Development Facts & Goals
In 1991 the Nebraska legislature passed legislation establishing procedures for a City adopt and implement an Economic Development Plan. Only local option sales taxes or the property taxes could be used to implement the plan. Legislative Bill 840 (often referred to as LB 840) required a community vote must be held to approve both the funding mechanism and the economic development plan itself.
On May 11, 1999 the citizens of Fremont voted to adopt a one-half of one percent (l/2%) sales tax for five years to fund streets and economic development and the economic development plan. That sales tax expired September 30, 2004. The Economic Development Plan (Plan) was adopted in 1999.
On May 11, 2004 the citizens of Fremont voted to extend the sales tax for 10 years to fund street construction and renovation, the Police and Fire Departments, and economic development. The Economic Development Plan adopted in 1999 was amended in 2004 by Resolution 2004-017 to extend the length of the plan to September 30, 2019.
Fremont voter took to the polling booths again on May 13, 2014 and extended the one-half of one percent (1/2%) sales tax for 10 more years to equally fund street construction and renovation, the Police and Fire Departments, and economic development. The sales tax will expire on December 31, 2024. The new Local Option Economic Development Plan will be in place until June 1, 2029.
It is the intent of the City of Fremont to implement an Economic Development Plan with the following purpose and goals:
• Create new jobs
• Attract new business
• Assist existing business expansions
• Attract new capital investment
• Develop attractive sites for industrial and business park development
Eligible activities under the Economic Development Plan may include the following to attract new and existing business and industry development in Fremont
• Land purchase/options
• Infrastructure to new or existing business and industry
• Site improvements
• Construction for new or existing business or industry or on a speculative basis
A complete list of eligible activities can be found in the current Local Option Economic Development Plan.
A qualifying business shall mean any corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship which derives its principal source of income from the manufacture of articles of commerce from any of the following:
• Research and development
• Sale of services in interstate commerce
• Headquarter facilities
• Tourism-related activities
To be considered for financial assistance, applicants must provide a completed application, including all applicable attachments. Return completed applications to the grant coordinator or city administrator at the Municipal Building located at 400 E. Military Ave., Fremont, NE 68025
The Economic Development Plan is administered by a Plan Administrator. The Administrator will receive applications and submit them to the Economic Development Team as well as the Citizen Advisory Review Committee.
The Economic Development Team will review the application in regards to project feasibility and the potential future economic benefit to the community and decide whether to recommend to the City Council for approval. If the Economic Development Team does not recommend the application, the business can decide to revise the plan and resubmit it to the Team for a second review or elect to present the existing plan to the City Council without a favorable recommendation from the Team.
The Citizen Advisory Review Committee reviews the application to see if the proposed project is an eligible activity and is in compliance with the plan. Their recommendation is forward to the City Council. The final determination of the application is made by the City Council.
Local Option Economic Development revenues have helped fund projects that have created a significant number of new jobs in Fremont and a significant expansion of Fremont’s industrial base.