50% Tax Break Requested

Economic Development president, Pat Phillips, made his pitch to commissioners at Monday's commission workshop for a 50% property tax break for a proposed expansion of the Tate Lyle plant in Loudon. Phillips explained that the company which is located in the city limits of Loudon is asking for the tax break from both the county and the city of Loudon. But at least one Loudon businessman isn't sold on the wisdom of such a move.

Eddie Ratledge of Loudon addressed the commissioners during the public comment portion of the meeting to suggest that this is not the time to be cutting taxes for the industry given all the financial challenges facing local governments. Ratledge made a number of strong points in questioning the tax breaks that seemed to register with some commissioners.

Phillips said that Tate Lyle was asking for the five year 50% tax break that would ultimately cost Loudon City over $120,000.00 and the county more than $185,000.00 in lost tax revenues over the life of the five year agreement. Phillips said that the expansion was expected to create five new jobs.

The danger of offering tax breaks for any industry or business is then, where does it end. Commissioners noted that there are currently no guidelines to determine who should be eligible for such tax breaks opening the door to any business to request the same breaks. 

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