The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

June 13, 2014

Athens abates $1.58 million for Asahi, local schools will gain $1.18 million

— Athens City Council members have agreed to abate a whopping $1.58 million in taxes over the next 10 years for an incoming industry — Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc. Asahi is expected to bring 100 new jobs and pay about $1.18 million in taxes to local schools over the next 10 years.

Once the company opens its plant, possibly in early 2016, it will turn plastic resin into pellets that are eventually molded and used to make automobile components.

Council members agreed during a meeting this week to forgive a total of $951,950 in noneducational property taxes, $626,150 in construction-related transactional taxes (sales tax) and $2,107 mortgage and recordings taxes — a total of $1,580,207 over the next 10 years, said Limestone County Economic Development Director Tom Hill.

Property tax for schools is expected to be about $778,867 over the next 10 years, Hill said. The schools will also collect a total of $403,350 in sales tax during the construction period because of the project, he said.

Asahi, which plans to lease a 51-acre track in the Elm Street industrial park, is making a $27.6 million investment in Athens.

Hill said the abatement for Asahi is the typical arrangement made between the city and a new or expanding industry. He said the amount just seems larger because Asahi’s investment is higher.

Asahi will only qualify for all of the incentives — which include $4.4 million from local, state and federal sources — if it hires 100 people over the next 10 years.

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