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Incentive cash goes to ABB, Presto / February 03, 2014
Of the $133,305.40 that the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority distributed last month to businesses in the county’s Enterprise Zone, the vast majority — about $113,209 — went to two industries, ABB and Presto Products.

IDA Executive Director Matt Leonard said the distributions are a key part of the county’s strategy to grow its industrial base. The payment amounts are linked to additional tax revenues created whenever Enterprise Zone businesses expand.

“We track their needs, and work to help meet them,” said Leonard. “Our existing and new industries appreciate that we appreciate them. We form long-lasting partnerships with them.

“The Enterprise Zone program is an aspect of that partnership; and part of the reason why they come to Halifax, and stay and grow in Halifax. The distributions made this week went to companies that have been in Halifax County from five years to 30 years,” he said.

Presto was the top recipient of Enterprise Zone incentive money this year. The plastic packaging maker received $61,575.19 from the IDA. ABB was next on the list, with a distribution payment of $51,633.72.

The next largest sum, $17,623.58, went to The Fairfield Inn.

Three other businesses in the Enterprise Zone also received payments: Aquatic (formerly Lasco), $1,764.00; Buster’s Performance Center, $452.74, and TMI Autotech, $256.17.

The Halifax County Enterprise Zone encompasses an area from Halifax to South Boston extending outward to the U.S. 58 industrial corridor and Virginia International Raceway. ABB, Presto, Aquatic and The Fairfield are located on U.S. 58; Buster’s is on Eastover Drive outside of South Boston; TMI is located at the VIR Raceplex Business Park.

The payments represent half of the tax proceeds to Halifax County that result from business expansions in the Enterprise Zone. “They are based on taxable capital investments by each of different types, at different points and in different amounts over the previous five years,” said Leonard.

Virginia’s Enterprise Zone program allows localities to offer grant-backs of a portion of the increased tax revenues localities receive when businesses and industries invest more in the community. In any five-year period, on average, the amount granted back is approximately half of the increased tax revenues. The incentive payments are not tied directly to job creation.

The Halifax County IDA administers the program locally because of its close ties to the county’s industries, said Leonard.

“These are real investments made by our strong and stable corporate partners in Halifax County. These investments broaden the county’s business and industrial tax base, generating more revenue over time which helps keep down the tax rates for our citizens,” he said.

Based on information the IDA has received on the near-term plans of local Enterprise Zone businesses, “we anticipate awards of nearly $140,000 in 2014,” said, Marissa Jackson, IDA Operations Manager who will lead the Enterprise Zone program this year. “That’s more than 2013 and that means there’s still measurable growth.”

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