Berkeley County approves tax incentive for Volvo


The Berkeley County Council approved a tax incentive for Volvo on Monday night. 

Volvo's property taxes will now be lowered so it can build a new office. 

The manufacturing company is building a new office space that will create 300 new jobs to go along with the new plant in Ridgeville.

The agreement will lower property taxes for the new project and the taxes generated from the office space will benefit the county.

Volvo Car's first American factory opened in Berkeley County last month.

The manufacturing company has also announced it will expand the plant to create a new line of vehicles and in addition to developing office space.

Berkeley County Officials say the new agreement will be a positive thing for people who live in the area.

Tim Callanan is the Deputy Supervisor of Administration and Chief Financial Officer for Berkeley County.

"I think this solidifies Berkeley County as really the vocal point of Volvo in North American in the future," Callanan said.

He says a fee-in-lieu of tax agreement was made with Volvo Cars in 2015 on the initial plant when the company agreed to an investment about $600 million in the county. 

Now that Volvo is expanding that investment has nearly doubled. Callanan says Volvo will be investing another $400 million to expand the plant to create a new line of vehicles.

"The benefits for this region are tremendous, the outcome for this county is going to be beyond what folks can see right now," Callanan said.  "If you're a resident and you don't have kids it's going to secure your tax base right so it's going to hopefully keep us from having to raise taxes in the near future and if you have kids you get that same benefit but you also get the benefit of potential economic opportunities for you and your children."

A fee-in-lieu of tax agreement lowers property taxes for industries that meet certain standards and without the agreement industries might choose not to invest.

Callanan says South Carolina has the highest percent tax rate for manufacturers at 10.5 percent.

Volvo is  bringing about 4,000 jobs to the area. 

"You'll see that supply chain companies start coming to Berkeley County that's more tax revenue, that's more employees, more employees increases competition, competition increases pay, higher pay, higher quality of life," Callanan said. "This is a huge win for Berkeley County and its citizens."

Monday night was the final reading of the agreement for Volvo's office space project. 

Volvo released the following statement on the new project:

"As stated in the agreement, Volvo Cars plans to invest $24 million in this project to build an office campus that will provide approximately 300 new, full-time positions in Berkeley County. The new office building will house staff from research and development, purchasing, quality and Volvo’s Southern regional sales team."

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