Heartland incentive package developed

Published 5:05 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Charlotte County’s role is important, not just as a member of Virginia’s Heartland Regional Industrial Facility Authority, (VHRIFA), but also as the county that Heartland Industrial Park resides in, when prospective clients come to the negotiating table. It is common, under similar circumstances, for localities to offer incentives packages contingent upon approval of the local governing body, to potential clients as a benefit of successfully closing a deal and in the case of Heartland Industrial Park and securing a tenant.

The specific incentives that Charlotte County has to offer, and the leverage, each, apart and all together, may have on potential clients came under discussion during a recent meeting of VHRIFA.
Currently, VHRIFA’s Board of Directors and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership are together working with a prospective business on a project known only as Project Peanut.

No details as to the nature of the project are available at this time despite numerous inquiries.
What is known is that staff has drawn up an incentive letter for the prospect to consider with the understanding that the incentives would need to be approved by the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors. 

With economic expansion as a primary goal, Charlotte County has made deliberate strides over recent years, often working cooperatively, to increase the attractiveness of the county to outside industry. As a result, Charlotte County has created notable incentives packages for consideration.

To that end, staff drew up a generic draft incentives letter for the board’s consideration and approval.

Approving a generic incentives offering in this way may well prove to be both work efficient and expedient for all parties when dealing with new prospects by eliminating the board’s approval on every project, except when incentives change, according to input from VHRIFA’s Board Chairman and Charlotte County Seat Supervisor Gary Walker, as recorded in the regular meeting records. 

A motion to approve the letter as is or to approve an amended letter are the actions requested of the board at the May 8 regular meeting of the board.

The incentives under consideration are varied. 

The most advantageous incentive by far, according to the draft letter, is Charlotte County’s, and Heartland Industrial’s designation as an Enterprise Zone. The letter states specifically with regard to Enterprise Zone eligibility that “… each incentive is dependent of full-time jobs with benefits and/or taxable investment created.” 

Additionally, it goes on to state that due to Heartland’s proximity within the Enterprise Zone designation, each business, as a Heartland tenant would be eligible to specific incentives such as; a Machinery and Tool Tax Reinvestment Grant, which is a three year reinvestment grant equal to 100 percent of the machinery and tools tax paid to the county.

A Real Estate Tax Reinvestment Grant; also, a three-year reinvestment grant equal to 100 percent of the real estate tax paid to the county. The grant amount will be based on the appraisal of the of property once work is completed.

Finally, there is fast track permitting. According to the draft letter, this dollar has not been calculated, rather, the amount will be based on an accrual of all bills and actual permitting.

The draft letter is set to go before the board at the May 8 regular meeting.