Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. shows up to meetings of the local economic development body that grants tax incentives to businesses pretty predictably.
That’s not to say on a regular basis, rather his appearances are predictable because they tend to coincide with votes on tax deals for businesses moving into or expanding in the core city.
And that’s what he did this week. The mayor showed up at both meetings of the Economic Development Growth Engine Board this week, at one of them praising Smucker’s decision to stay put in Memphis in exchange for a tax incentive, a deal that Wharton said shows Memphis’ commitment to essentially the heart of Memphis and its infrastructure.
On Wednesday, the EDGE board approved a four-year tax freeze for Container Maintenance Corp., which is boosting employment in Memphis (where it provides intermodal-related services) by 96 workers and investing almost $4 million to expand. Wharton praised the company for making that push, in addition to praising (along with Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, also present) another project up for a tax freeze: International Paper Co.
Memphis-based IP got a 15-year tax freeze to help the company pursue a nearly $116 million expansion of its Memphis presence, which includes keeping 2,274 jobs here, creating 101 new jobs, keeping its headquarters here and building a new 235,000-square-foot, 10-story building along with a new 470-car garage and two pedestrian bridges.
On Monday, the EDGE board granted a 12-year tax freeze to the J.M. Smucker Co. so that the company would stay in Memphis and pursue a $55 million expansion.
That would save the company several million dollars in taxes, and in return the company would keep 125 jobs in Memphis.
The company’s PILOT application explains the project will retrain the company’s current remaining workforce to produce products using new machinery and technologies.