No incentives. No problem.
Williamson Inc. is continuing to build on the county’s reputation for headquarter relocations and business expansion. Nathan Zipper, the Director of Business Development at Williamson Inc., revealed that he and the team at the chamber are currently working to recruit 15 companies to the area.
While each of the recruitment efforts are at different stages, Zipper said the two “most imminent” projects — a headquarter relocation and a regional office — would bring a combined 375 jobs to Williamson County.
But the question many people want to know the answer to is: How many tax incentives are being offered to companies and at what cost in order to get them to relocate or start-up in Williamson County?
The answer is very few. Since 1994 Williamson County has only offered incentives to 13 projects. The most recent being Mitsubishi.
“Based on the information we have right now, none of the 15 companies we are in discussion with would qualify for our local incentive,” said Zipper.
Zipper said only one local tax incentive is offered in Williamson County. That incentive comes in the form of property tax abatements.
Like the State of Tennessee and TVA, Williamson Inc. considers the number of jobs, average wages of those jobs and CapEx when evaluating a prospective company for local incentives, according to Zipper.
“There isn’t a formula, but typically the company would create more than 200 jobs with an average salary greater than $75,000, “said Zipper.
However, due to its real estate requirements, Williamson County’s criteria is more stringent than the state’s or TVA’s. Williamson County will only incentivize projects that are moving into buildings that are not already on the tax roll, according to Zipper.
“Even then, when we do offer a company some form of a property tax abatement, we never consider abating the portion of the property tax that is allocated to the schools, which, in our case right now, is $.58 of each $1.88 per $100 of assessed value,” said Zipper.
“The county’s commitment funding public schools in such a meaningful way sets us apart, and in my experience, has only ever been well received by those company representatives we’ve had the opportunity to share our policy with,” said Williamson Inc. CEO Matt Largen.
Zipper credits the ease of doing business and the county’s culture.
“Time and time again, we hear companies say they chose Williamson County over cities like Raleigh, North Carolina, or Austin, Texas, due to our corporate tax structures and pro-business decisions made by our local government leaders,” said Zipper.
In Davidson County, local leaders may be more concerned with companies recruiting out-of-state talent. In Williamson, many companies expect to hire more locally.
“The majority of the companies moving here (Williamson County) are hiring locally,” said Zipper. “For example, Kaiser Aluminum is only bringing 8-10 employees, they will hire locally for the other 70 positions the investment will create.”
So far in 2021, more than 447 new business licenses have been issued in Williamson County. Additionally, Williamson, Inc., has welcomed over 147 new Chamber members, an increase of 26 percent year over year.
Five different companies have announced intentions to relocate or expand headquarters operations in Williamson County this year, ultimately creating over 980 new jobs and investing more than $10 million into the community.
“We encourage companies to focus on the long-term cost savings that comes as a result of investing in Williamson County," Largen said. "In truth, the most important incentive a company receives when they locate or expand in Williamson County is the same set of incentives everyone enjoys: a low overall tax rate, access to great public schools, and stability in local and state government."