Document shows Bibb offered Amazon millions in tax breaks

Drone footage of future Amazon site in Macon

Bibb County offered Amazon millions of dollars in tax breaks to bring their new distribution center here, according to a draft document.

Through an open-records request, 13WMAZ obtained the Memorandum of Understanding that breaks down the county's deal with the retail giant.

The agreement is similar to other deals the county has cut with other big employers like Bass Pro and Kumho Tire.

It shows that the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority promised Amazon local and state tax breaks, grants, help obtaining permits and more.

For example, the deal would give Amazon a 60 percent discount in its real-estate taxes over the next 10 years.

And they could earn more than a million dollars a year in state tax credits if they keep their hiring promises.

Here's more of what we found in the document:

Bibb County is asking Amazon to put in traffic lights and other improvements to Sardis Church Road and Skipper Road before their distribution center opens there.

But the authority promises to help Amazon to get a state grant of more than $1.5 million to pay for that work and chip in up to a million dollars of their own.

The authority would issue up to $100 million in bonds to pay for site work and the distribution center, and they'd own the Amazon site until those bonds are paid back.

Amazon would make annual payments to help pay off the bonds. That's based an annual sliding scale, starting at 4 percent of the property's projected tax bill for the first year it's operating, increasing to 100 percent 10 years later.

That would likely will save Amazon millions a year compared to taxes on the property if they built it outright.

The document also says Amazon will qualify for state tax credits of around $3,000 for each new job created.

Based on their current jobs goal, that could add up to another $1.8 million a year.

They'll also get a big tax break on equipment installed at the distribution center and won't pay taxes on equipment and inventory there.

The "memorandum of understanding" is marked "Draft," so it's not a done deal.

But Bibb County and Amazon plan to close on the deal and start construction by Dec. 31.

The company plans a 1-million square foot distribution center on a 96-acre site off I-75 and Skipper Road.

Fountain said Amazon will invest $90 million in Bibb County as a result of the deal.

That includes $5.7 million for the Skipper Road site.

According to the document, Amazon's hiring goal is 300 people by 2019 and 600 people within two years after that. They hope the plant will be open by January 2019.

So far, there's no word on when they'd start hiring.

Check out the agreement below:

Bibb County / Amazon Memorandum of Understanding DRAFT by 13WMAZ on Scribd

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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