Halifax County commissioners today took action related to two local businesses — one approving a resolution for a business retention grant and the other granting approval of a late listing appeal.
The board approved a resolution authorizing a business retention grant for Culpeper Wood Preservers of Roanoke Rapids, which occupies the former Georgia-Pacific building on West Tenth Street.
The resolution notes the company wants to retain and modernize its wood treating operations.
Terms of the agreement include a $52,000 grant over a five-year term and the county would pay the grant in five annual payments of $10,400.
Culpeper agrees that it will maintain at least 90 percent of its workforce of 20 employees up until two years following the last payment by the county.
The company agrees to maintain a taxable investment of not less than $2,790,285 less depreciation in real estate, machinery and equipment through the time the last payment by the county is made.
The funds may be used for employee training, improving public infrastructure, modernization or expansion of the plant or equipment, and strategic improvements at the plant to enhance competitiveness of the company globally.
JBB Packaging, which operates in the former Flambeau building, had filed an appeal to its late listing penalty for business personal property tax for last year, county Tax Assessor C. Shane Lynch told the board during a meeting held using the Zoom format.
The listing period was January 1 through February 14 for the 2020 tax year.
State law allows the assessor to add a 10 percent penalty on the amount of tax on the personal property that was listed later or not at all and commissioners have the authority to compromise, settle or adjust the taxes and penalty, Lynch said.
JBB requested in a December 8 letter to have the penalty waived.
In the letter sent by JBB Controller Robert Runz, the company paid $71,189.24 for the 2020 property tax notice for its location at Grace Drive in Weldon.
Runz requested a one-time waiver for the $5,036.33 penalty. “The reasons for our failure to file the listing though were not intentional or a total disregard for the filing requirements. To be honest, we were unaware of the requirement as we never received notice.”
He explained JBB is a startup company new to North Carolina and Halifax County. “The filing oversight was further exacerbated by the challenges and difficulties of the COVID pandemic which our office staff in New Jersey was working remotely. Once we were made aware of the requirement we quickly supplied all the required documentation and reporting to the very helpful Halifax tax collector’s office.”
JBB bought the facility in February of 2019 and for the better part of the year was updating the building and installing new production equipment for a February of 2020 startup. “We are now fully operational and have created in excess of 45 new jobs to the area and are looking forward to a long time of continued growth in Halifax County.”
Commissioner Rives Manning made the motion to waive the late fee and Linda Brewer cast the second.