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Unicoi County Industrial Development Board reconvenes

Sue Guinn Legg • Dec 12, 2017 at 12:05 AM

The Unicoi County Industrial Development Board reconvened Monday afternoon for the first time since 2014.

Up for the board’s consideration was the proposed tax incentive package for new and expanding industries approved by the Unicoi County Commission on Nov. 27 and approved by the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen later Monday evening.

Tyler Engle, executive director of the Joint Economic Development Board of Unicoi County, presented the IDB with the Capital Investment Program plan and the set of minimum requirements under which its land-tax incentive may be offered.

The 5-year tax incentive will only be available to companies that invest a minimum of $500,000 and create a minimum of 10 new jobs paying at least 140 percent of minimum wage, or $10.15 per hour.

Companies meeting those criteria will be eligible for abatement of tax on any improvements they make with annual, stepped tax increases over a 5-year period starting at zero and rising to 100 percent.

During the same five years, Engle said, eligible companies will continue paying existing taxes on their property prior to any improvements they make, preventing the loss of any existing revenue to the county or to the town.

Any incentives requested outside of those perimeters will be brought before the IDB and the county and town’s governing bodies for consideration.

The IDB, which will administer the program, approved the plan by a unanimous vote, with board member Jerry Ramsey absent.

The other board members are Chairman Robert Kegley, Vice Chairman Garland Evely, Secretary/Treasurer Pascal Bailey, Ted Hopson and Paul Monk.

The Unicoi County Commission next meets on Monday, Dec. 18. The group will consider the appointment of a seventh IDB member to fill the seat of a member who has retired from the board.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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