Friday, July 19, 2024
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Jackson Industrial Development Can Offer Incentive Packages

The Jackson County Industrial Development Board now authorized to enter into incentive agreements with industries interested in moving into the county.

Gainesboro Aldermen and the Jackson County Commissioners passed a resolution allowing the board to offer tax abatement pilot programs. Jackson County Mayor Randy Heady said the resolution stipulates that incentives will be tied to job creation and attractive pay. He said the change could be a big win for Jackson County.

“That’s an incentive on both sides,” Heady said. “An incentive for the industry to get them to come, but also their pay or their benefit package or how many employees they’re hiring would also be an incentive to be offered an incentive. So, it works hand-in-hand.”

The new incentive power replaces a resolution passed in 1993 that Heady said had “no teeth to it.” He said as a much younger IDB struggled to attract industry, it put a resolution together that lacked job-creating incentives.

“This new resolution has some Tennessee statutes in it which plainly spells out, these are things passed in the general assembly, that if you’re going to be doing this on behalf of the county incentive, you need to have some job creation there,” Heady said. “And it would be an equitable job creation.”

He said every surrounding community has a resolution in place that allows incentive packages. He said while trying to bring company into town to fill the old Eaton Corporation building, the board realized it needed the ability to provide incentives.

“Most county mayors are going to get judged by their job creation,” Heady said. “In other words, in recruiting industry, but that is a heavy lift for anybody. In my six years of trying to get to the point where we could recruit some industry, and jumping over the, overcoming the obstacles that are before you, you’ve just got to keep pushing.”

Heady said under the previous resolution, an incentive package could have theoretically been offered to a company that was bringing just one job to the county.

“You can’t just give away tax dollars,” Heady said. “There has to be an incentive to do so.”