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Economic Development Washington County (EDWC) Develops Plan to Operate without County Taxes
County Board Approves EDWC Sustainability Plan
At its March 13th meeting, the Washington County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to support Economic Development Washington County without County tax contributions beginning in 2022. The plan "doubles down" on investment in the County's Economic Development Strategy. It funds the County's Revolving Loan Fund programs to the tune of an additional $10 million and steps down the County's contributions to EDWC's operating budget over the next five years (2018-2022). The result is an astonishing $18.5 million dollar evergreen fund for economic development enabling EDWC to use fees for service and interest earnings to sustain their operations.

"This plan is a great example of a strategic investment for Washington County," said County Administrator Joshua Schoemann. "The direction and injection of tax payer resources to economic growth and vitality of the County through EDWC with the intent to attract, retain and develop businesses is no coincidence." Economic Growth and Vitality was named a top priority in the County's priority based budgeting exercise.

EDWC has geared their efforts into growing the current economic status of Washington County through decision support, deal structuring, and consulting services. The ultimate goal is to create an attractive and competitive economic atmosphere. With 98% of EDWC customers being existing Washington County corporations, EDWC's success includes 2,222 new jobs created, $146,742,504 new annual wages, and $491,377,913 in new annual sales over the past six years (2011-2016).

"EDWC has become recognized statewide how it innovatively structures deals to create a win-win for both Washington County growth companies and the local residents who work for them," said EDWC's Executive Director, Christian Tscheschlok, "funding our work in this way extends that innovative capability to fuel a self-sustaining growth engine, adding a third win: a lesser burden for taxpayers as the base grows from each resulting success."

In 2017, the County created an Advisory Committee to meet with various entities such as EDWC with the objective to work together and develop an effective financial sustainability plan that will assist each entity to become independent of County funding to sustain their operations. EDWC's plan marks the first outside entity plan to be approved by the County Board. Earlier, the County Board approved the Transportation Network Sustainability Plan to fund road maintenance and the Parks Fiscal Sustainability Plan to fund parks. These initiatives have enabled Washington County to better meet taxpayer demands to achieve lower taxes and quality services.