'Project Bulldog' will invest $150M, create 125 jobs in Sumter

Council begins incentive agreement process for company

BY ADRIENNE SARVIS
adrienne@theitem.com
Posted 4/26/18

Sumter County Council approved a resolution to authorize a fee-in-lieu-of-tax and incentive agreement for a company identified as Project Bulldog that intends to invest at least $150 million into the county and create 125 new full-time …

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'Project Bulldog' will invest $150M, create 125 jobs in Sumter

Council begins incentive agreement process for company

Sumter's Project Bulldog will create 125 jobs and bring a $150 million investment to the county.
Sumter's Project Bulldog will create 125 jobs and bring a $150 million investment to the county.
Posted

Sumter County Council approved a resolution to authorize a fee-in-lieu-of-tax and incentive agreement for a company identified as Project Bulldog that intends to invest at least $150 million into the county and create 125 new full-time jobs.

Because of the size of the anticipated investment, Project Bulldog meets the qualifications of an "enhanced investment" which permits the company's property to be taxed at a reduced assessment ratio of 4 percent - used to assess residential property in the county - in addition to receiving a 25-percent special source revenue credit, or tax reduction, for the first 10 years of its operation.

Usually, industrial businesses are assessed at 10.5 percent in Sumter County.

According to South Carolina Code of Laws, enhanced investments require an investment of at least $150 million and the creation at least 125 new full-time jobs, or an investment of at least $400 million.

Project Bulldog will have five years to meet its financial investment and job creation goals if the fee-in-lieu-of-tax and incentive agreement is approved by county council.

Also related to Project Bulldog, council approved first reading of an ordinance, in title only, to authorize a fee-in-lieu-of-tax and incentive agreement between the county and Project Bulldog and first reading of an ordinance to amend the master agreement for Sumter-Lee Industrial Park to include property operated by Project Bulldog.

While the resolution and ordinance refer to the same fee-in-lieu-of-tax and incentive agreement, the resolution is a binding document that expresses the county's intent to follow through with the proposed agreement as long as the company meets its investment goals.

The ordinance regarding the fee-in-lieu-of-tax and incentive agreement requires two more approvals from council before it goes into effect.

County's budget in good shape as budget process begins

"We're in a lot better shape than we were in the past at this time," Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon said.

As of Tuesday, proposed general fund expenditures were approximately $52.5 million, and proposed general fund revenues were about $52.4 million, leaving a deficit of a little more than $143,000.

Normally, the budget would be millions of dollars out of balance at this stage, Mixon said.

While the county's general fund is in a relatively good state at this point in the budget process, the county's capital expenditure requests from county department directors exceeds the annual $2.5 million bond used for those expenses by more than $3.5 million.

Mixon said the plan is to have third reading of the budget on June 12. A balanced budget must be approved by June 30.

Council will hold its first budget workshop at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in County Council Chambers, third floor of Sumter County Administration Building, 13 E. Canal St.