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Case Farms $49 million investment captures incentive grant

Case Farms $49 million investment captures incentive grant

Published in News on August 23, 2018 5:50 AM

For the full story visit: www.newsargus.com

 

A $49 million expansion project at Case Farms in Dudley has been approved for a grant under Wayne County's industry incentive program. Wayne County commissioners approved the grant request following a Tuesday morning public hearing.

Only tax money paid in by a company is used for the grant it receives.

The company pays its property taxes, and the county in turn refunds a portion of those taxes to the company, dependent on the company completing its project within a specified time and creating the promised number of jobs and investment.

Case Farms plans to build a $5.9 million wastewater treatment facility on its property on Pecan Road in order to increase treatment capacity. In addition, the company is planning a $43 million freezer expansion at its current facility.

The company is set to create 44 new jobs at an average annual wage of more than $39,000.

In business in Wayne County since 1995, the company has more than 1,000 employees, said Tiffany Creech, existing industry manager with the Wayne County Development Alliance.

"My main job is to do what I can to assist our existing industries here in Wayne County with their growth and expansion plans, which I take very seriously and think is very, very important," she said.

"This will mean new capital investment and new tax base to Wayne County of over $32 million in real property and almost $17 million in machinery and equipment. So this tax investment in Wayne County will be close to $49 million in total."

Creech asked for a tax incentive grant under the county's industry incentive policy adopted by commissioners in 2015 to encourage industry growth and expansion.

Large companies such as Case Farms have the option to expand at any of their other locations outside the area, she said.

Under the county policy, Case Farms qualified for a 95 percent cash grant back of its paid taxes over a five-year period, she said.

"Of course, that would be once the project is completed and once they have paid their property taxes," Creech said.

Of the $49 million estimated investment, the qualifying amount is $44.3 million, she said.

The annual grant is calculated by multiplying the dollar amount of the investment, as determined by the Wayne County Tax Department, by the current county tax rate and then by the percentage level of the grant. The taxes have to be paid in full for the year before the incentive is credited back to the company.

That will translate to a yearly estimated incentive of $279,000 over the five-year period for a total of $1,396,000, Creech said.

"Please keep in mind these are estimates and will be adjusted up or down as their actual investment is verified by the tax office," she said. "Also keep in mind that over a 10-year period, the company will still pay to the county an estimated $1.3 million in Wayne County taxes because of this investment."

Creech said her office always has to be cognizant of any development around Wayne County since they do not want to encroach on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Some of the company's property is in the base's flight path, Creech said.

Case Farms has shown the plans to base officials, and base officials do not have any problems with the additions, she said.

Development Alliance Chairman Joe Scott was the only other person to speak during the hearing.

The grant is really important for the company, Scott said. Scott said if he was a weatherman, his forecast would be that the weather is good for development in the county.

"We have a lot going on in this county, and we appreciate the support that our county commissioners give us," Scott said.


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