Commissioners Court approves tax abatements

Incentives help two companies add 37 jobs at average salary of $45K

By PATTI SELLS | News-Telegram Feature Writer

Oct 29, 2007 - Hopkins County Commissioners Court passed a resolution Monday morning to establish a reinvestment zone that includes tax abatement agreements between Hopkins County and Raine Tank and Fabrication, GSC Enterprises and Fidelity Express.

According to Roger Feagley, executive director of Sulphur Springs/Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation, the tax incentives given to these companies help expand the area's economy.  

Tax abatements are one of the primary incentives available to local governments to promote economic development. By encouraging new investment, tax abatements can increase or maintain basic employment in the community, encourage redevelopment of deteriorated areas, and/or stimulate investment in specific areas of a community.  

Feagley said 25  welding positions will be added at Raine Tank and Fabrication, and 12 new positions will be offered at Fidelity Express — all with average salaries of $45,000.

"This is one way we can encourage businesses to stay here providing good jobs to the community," said Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap.

Both Grocery Supply Company and Raine Tank and Fabrication were given tax abatement incentives on company buildings for the next five years at 100 percent. The incentive at GSC does not include the contents of the building. Raine Tank and Fabrication's abatement does cover manufacturing equipment, which has to be maintained for 10 years at its full value, otherwise the company will have to pay back the taxes plus interest.

Comissioners Court members also passed a resolution for the Indigent Defense Grant Program, which allows the county to receive grants from the Task Force on Indigent Defense to provide improvements in indigent defense services. 

According to Millsap, approximately $22,000 is received each year through the program.

In other business, the Commissioners Court unanimously approved the minutes of the previous meeting, payment of bills, revenues, expenses and financial statements.

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