P&G gets Guilford incentive

Feb. 08, 2013 @ 10:45 AM

Two commissioners representing High Point came down on both sides of the incentives debate Thursday as the Board of Commissioners approved a $975,000 incentives package for Procter & Gamble on a 5-4 vote.
The consumer products giant wants to spend $100 million to improve its Greensboro plant and hire 200 more workers. Earlier this week, the Ohio company also won a $961,000 incentive from Greensboro City Council.
While Republican Commissioner Bill Bencini of High Point said nothing about his vote against the incentive, Democratic Commissioner Bruce Davis of High Point praised P&G and said the company deserved another "investment."
In 2007, P&G got slightly more than $1
million from Greensboro, the county and the state for a $19 million project that created 25 jobs.
"We have to do something to create jobs," Davis said. "This is an investment, not a gift. Wouldn't you put your money into something that would give you a good return?"
Davis voted along with the board's three other Democrats in support of the incentives package as did Chairwoman Linda Shaw, the only Republican on the board to support the incentive.
"This is an investment in jobs," Shaw said. "I support jobs. Too many people out there need jobs."
The new jobs would initially pay slightly more than $52,000 a year, higher than the average local annual salary of $40,196.
P&G will continue to pay taxes during the three years of the incentive contract. The county will pay a portion of the grant each year as P&G adds jobs.
Dan Lynch, president the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance, said that the county will recover grant money in two years because P&G will pay higher taxes based on the increased value of the plant. P&G will spend about $30 million on property improvements, such as a facility expansion or land purchase.
Incentive opponents argue that it is not certain that local taxpayers will recover the nearly $2 million for the deal. Any state incentives were not mentioned during a public hearing.
"Some businesses pull out after they get incentives," said Republican Commissioner Jerry Alan Branson. "I can not support corporate incentives."
Instead of providing incentives, the county should instead reduce property taxes, said Republican Commissioner Jeff Phillips. With just a slightly lower property tax rate, P&G could save more than $1 million in the next few years, Phillips said.
"We want all property owners to win," Phillips said. "We have to understand that we are responsible to the taxpayers."
At the plant at 6200 Bryan Park Road, P&G makes Old Spice, Fixodent denture adhesives and the Secret, and Gillette brands of deodorants and antiperspirants. A plant on Swing Road makes other P&G brands, including Pepto-Bismol, NyQuil and Vicks products.

Procter & Gamble

Greensboro: Since 1982 at Browns Summit
Sales: $83.6 billion last fiscal year.
Local Jobs: 800 workers, including about 200 contract employees, at Bryan Park Road.
Local Payroll: $45 million a year.
Brands: Other well-known brands include Tide detergent, Duracell batteries, Pampers diapers and Gillette razors and blades.
Sites: Procter & Gamble said it is considering other expansion sites in North Carolina and South Carolina.