The J.M. Smucker Co. will reverse the decision it announced in 2010 to close its Memphis plant and lay off employees by this year if the company, which makes fruit spreads here, gets a tax break for a $55 million expansion it’s planning.
The company is applying for a 12-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) benefit, under which almost $5.5 million in taxes would be foregone. In return, the company would keep 125 jobs in Memphis.
“The packaged consumer food industry is highly competitive, and profitability is dependent on volatile agricultural commodity prices and other difficult-to-predict variables,” Smucker’s application reads. “As such, the certainty of tax abatements for a specified number of years influences the company’s choice of location for long-term capital investments.”
Smucker announced in 2010 it would close its Memphis plant and lay off 161 employees by 2013. The intention was to consolidate its operation to “improve its supply chain as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the long-term strength and profitability of its leading brands,” a release stated.