Project Peanut, as the PILOT was called before it was made public, was presented to the Commission by Doug Berry, vice president for economic development at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce on Monday.
“We’re always looking at ways we can successfully bring in businesses,” Berry said.
Mars Chocolate North America is investing approximately $67 million in the project.
The expansion is estimated to create 38 full-time positions at the plant.
According to Berry’s estimates, the expansion will also create up to 142 indirect jobs.
These jobs are projected to create $2.5 million in direct salaries and benefits, and $4.7 million being paid to those in the jobs created indirectly.
Berry said the Industrial Development Board and the Economic Development Council work continually on ways to negotiate PILOT agreements.
The Mars expansion PILOT was a little different because it involved equipment, which falls under the personal property taxes for the county.
Under the PILOT agreement, the company will be exempt from taxes on the equipment, and pay half of what would normally be paid. The agreement would remain in effect until December 2018.
First District Commissioner Ed Elkins said the equipment would not bring in any revenue after the PILOT because of state depreciation limits.
The expansion may also have an impact on residential property tax.
“It should result in an increase in home buying,” Berry said.
He projected the county and the city of Cleveland would see an increase of $72,238 in residential property tax as a result of the expansion.
Approval of the PILOT was placed on the agenda for Monday’s noon voting session.
- A sewer agreement with the Bradley County Schools for the proposed Hopewell fire station to connect to the school’s lines and a contract in relation to veterans home funding were also placed on the agenda.
- Also during the meeting, commissioners heard a report from environmental officer Joe Renner. The environmental office currently has 68 open cases. First District Commissioner Terry Caywood said he would like to see the Commission discuss ways it could give the officer more leverage in holding property owners accountable for complying with requests.