LINCOLNTON, NC-Commissioners approved Lincoln County’s incentive program in early 1999 because the county felt it was missing certain economic opportunities by not having such a program. To date, three companies have signed deals with the county that give them tax breaks ranging from 75% to 85% in exchange for substantial investments in property and equipment.

A Florida retailer’s decision to build a warehouse in the Lincoln County Industrial Park is the latest success story. Robb & Stucky, a Fort Myers, FL-based retailer with 13 stores, is spending $4.8 million to build a warehouse early next year at the park on Finger Mill Road. The company will employ about 20 warehouse and office workers.

In exchange for that investment, Lincoln County will rebate the company $18,300 in property taxes annually for the next five years. The rebate, in addition to the industrial park’s access to four-lane U.S. 321, led it to choose Lincoln. The company, already with a warehouse in Marion and wanting to be close to North Carolina’s furniture manufacturers, had looked at sites in Burke and Catawba counties.

The other companies that are buying into the Lincoln County incentives are RSI Home Products and Packaging Un-Limited of North Carolina. RSI, a maker of kitchen and bath fixtures, is spending $7.5 million on a 320,000-sf plant at the industrial park. It already has a plant in Lincolnton, but had no room to expand there.

Packaging Un-Limited bought an existing building for an undisclosed price in the Indian Creek Industrial Park, west of Lincolnton. It was given tax credits based on what it paid for the building and spent on equipment. The company, which makes corrugated cardboard shipping products, already has 40 employees at a Lincoln plant and the expansion at Indian Creek created another 70 jobs.

The grants are available only to companies that invest more than $1 million. The tax break is 75% for an investment under $5 million, 80% for $5 million to $20 million, and 85% for $20 million or more. Gaston County has a similar program, with tax rebates that last from five to 10 years, depending on how much a company invests.

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