Economic incentives

The city and Hunt County have executed a number of economic incentive agreements with HP Hood LLC, the Massachusetts company that is expected to invest $360 million and create hundreds of jobs by building a state-of-the-art dairy plant just west of Greenville.

The city and Hunt County have executed a number of economic incentive agreements with HP Hood LLC, the Massachusetts company that is expected to invest $360 million and create hundreds of jobs by building a state-of-the-art dairy plant just west of Greenville.

The Greenville ISD is still evaluating an application for tax abatement and is expected to consider an agreement within the next few months, according to schools Superintendent Sharon Boothe.

Construction of the dairy at State Hwy. 66 and CR 2100 could commence during the second quarter of 2024, and commercial operations could begin in the fourth quarter of 2025, according to documents on file with the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

HP Hood has proposed building a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant to process extended shelf life dairy and plant-based beverages. The proposed 350,000-square-foot dairy facility would occupy separate buildings for labs, research and administrative offices; milk receiving and processing; product packaging; and warehousing, according to the application.

In its initial phase, the dairy would employ an estimated 225 people, and up to 400 in the future, according to a tax abatement application on file with the Comptroller’s Office.  The company estimates spending $360 million on the project’s initial phase.

The plant lies just outside the city of Greenville’s ETJ (extra territorial jurisdiction), an area that extends two miles out from the city limits in every direction.

Under HP Hood’s agreement with the city:

• The Greenville Economic Development Corp. would provide a $500,000 infrastructure grant to the project over five years;

• The dairy property would be immune from annexation for 15 years with two optional 15-year extensions;

• HP Hood would make a payment to the city in lieu of taxes that equals the amount of property taxes on only the buildings and land, but excludes taxes on equipment and inventory;

• The city would provide fire and police protection as well as solid waste removal as it does to companies within the city limits.

• HP Hood would pay for the extension of utilities, including electric or natural gas lines;

• The city would supply potable water and sanitary sewer service to the site through extensions of lines financed by the company or a third-party contractor;

• The city would charge standard industrial rates for potable water and sewage services.

Hunt County’s package of incentives, which were approved earlier this month by the Commissioners Court, boil down to:

• A 50% ad valorem tax abatement on eligible property over 10 years, starting during or before 2027;

• A personal property tax rebate of 100% of eligible inventory taxes for 25 years starting on Jan. 1, 2026.

Those economic development incentives are allowed for cities and counties under Chapter 312 and Chapter 381 of the Texas tax code.

For its part, the Greenville Independent School District has received a Chapter 313 application from Hood that would entitle the company to a significant tax discount over 10 years starting in tax year 2026.

Under a Chapter 313 designation, a company agrees to build or install property and create jobs in exchange for a 10-year limitation on the taxable property value for school district maintenance and operations tax (M&O) purposes.

 However, any loss in tax revenue by the school district would be made up for by the state, according to a spokesman for the Comptroller’s Office. After 10 years, the school district would receive from Hood the full amount of taxation on the property.

After the dairy plant is constructed, the property would carry an estimated taxable value of $360 million, and that amount gradually decreases through depreciation.

By the time Greenville ISD applies full taxation, the property will carry an estimated taxable value of $247 million, according to the Chapter 313 application.

The raw property was valued at $657,000 during the most recent appraisal in 2021, according to the Hunt County Central Appraisal District.

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