Since entering into a Tax Abatement Agreement with Smith
County, John Soules Foods, Reef Services and Scotts Hyponex have added a
combined 255 jobs to the community and invested more than $37 million in the
The Smith County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, May 10,
2016, received an annual review on the three county-initiated Tax Abatement
Agreement projects from Felicia Herndon, vice president of finance for the
Tyler Economic Development Council.
“We believe it is extremely important to work with these
companies,” Smith County Judge Joel Baker said. “By offering these incentives,
it not only helps businesses locate to Smith County, but helps them become
established and grow here. In turn, they add hundreds of jobs in our community
and millions of dollars to our economy.”
John Soules Food, which produces meat products, entered into
a 100 percent, five-year tax abatement in 2014. It has invested $8.17 million
in facilities and equipment, and created 180 new jobs.
Reef Services, an oil field chemicals producer, entered into
a 100 percent, five-year agreement in 2011, has invested $13.26 million and has
created 49 new jobs.
Scotts Hyponex, a producer of potting soil and mulch, entered
into a 100 percent, three-year agreement in 2012. The company invested $16.13
million and created 26 jobs before its tax abatement agreement ended in 2015.
Each company receiving an abatement agrees to an on-site
visit and annual status reports as part of the compliance monitoring procedures
required by the tax abatement policy, adopted by the Commissioners Court and 11
other taxing entities, according to Ms. Herndon.
Smith County also received an update on an additional four
tax abatement projects that it participates in, which were initiated by the City
of Tyler. They include Centene, Hood Packaging, Tazza Pronto and VME Process
All of the tax-abatement projects combined have resulted in
more than $74 million in investments in facilities and equipment, and created
609 new jobs for the Smith County economy.
“Economic development is very competitive between cities and
states,” Tyler Economic Development President/CEO Tom Mullins said. “Tax
abatements help Tyler and Smith County compete.”
Centene, a medical claims processing center, entered into a 100
percent, five-year agreement in 2012. It has invested $16.74 million and
created 242 jobs.
Hood Packaging, a manufacturer/supplier of plastic shipping
sacks, entered into a 100 percent, four-year agreement in 2013, has invested
$15.59 million and has added 56 new jobs.
VME Process, a supplier of complete process systems in the
oil and gas industry, has had a 100 percent, five-year agreement since 2013,
has invested $4.89 million and added 56 new jobs.
Tazza Pronto, a producer of single-serve coffee products,
entered into a tax abatement agreement in 2013. After being purchased by Ito
En, a Japanese beverage company that also bought its parent company Distant
Lands, Tazza Pronto was closed.