Thursday, May 27, 2010

County details tax breaks for new corporate office

FRANKLIN — Williamson County commissioners have given initial approval of a tax abatement package that would save Jackson National Life Insurance Company nearly $500,000 over five years.
The company announced Tuesday that it was creating a regional headquarters in Cool Springs and would bring 750 new jobs to Tennessee. Jackson National plans to occupy One Greenway Centre, a 155,000-square-foot office building near the Nissan North American headquarters.

“The bottom line is we give up about $100,000 a year and in exchange we get the jobs and the trickle down affect,” County Mayor Rogers Anderson said.

Two county committees approved the deal Wednesday evening. The full county commission will vote on the package June 14.

Jackson National would receive a 40-percent property tax break for five years, which comes out to $492,800. Anderson said taxes allocated for the county’s school system would not be affected by the incentive package, which was offered to the company before they signed a 10-year lease of One Greenway Centre.

The county has given similar incentives to Verizon Wireless, which opened a state headquarters in Franklin in 2008, Nissan and Community Health Systems, which have headquarters in Cool Springs. The county’s Economic Development Director, Matt Largen, said Jackson National’s new headquarters would have an annual $70 million payroll, and generate more than $1.2 million in sales tax.

Commissioner Reba Greer was the only commissioner who voted against the tax abatement package.

“I’m generally opposed to these because we can’t do it for everyone,” Greer said. “Small businesses are just as important as the big ones. I don’t think we should show favoritism to the big ones.”

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