Commission OKs payment plan for Quad Graphics

May 22, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Commission has signed a payment plan in lieu of taxes for Quad Graphics and will sign a letter to approve the same for TLM Aerospace.

The commission has agreed to give TLM Aerospace a five-year abatement on tax payments and Quad Graphics up to a 20 percent reduction on payments.

TLM Aerospace does not have to pay personal property tax because the airplane manufacturing plant is on publicly owned property.

The company has agreed to make payments on the building and the land equal to what it would have been taxed. It will be assessed in five years and the first payment will be due in seven years.

The airplane manufacturing company will not make payments on equipment.

An agreement with Quad Graphics, the third-largest printing company in the United States, would offer up to a 20 percent payment reduction on new construction.


Quad Graphics is also on public property at the Cumbo Yard Industrial Park and doesn't have to make payments.

Commissioner Robert L. Burkhart said Berkeley County is a model for the state because many counties don't require businesses to make payments at all.

"We only gave away five years when we could've given away 20 or 25 years," Burkhart said.

TLM, which expects to build a nearly 60,000-square-foot manufacturing plant by November, would have to pay $40,000 to $50,000 per year on taxes if built on private property, said Clarence E. Martin III, attorney with Martin and Seibert in Martinsburg, which represents both companies.

Quad Graphics makes payments in lieu of taxes on its 500,000-square-foot facility and is planning a 1.2 million-square-foot packaging plant expansion.

On Thursday, the Berkeley County Development Authority approved the sale of 100 acres to Quad Graphics, said Bob Crawford, executive director of the authority.

The Development Authority will buy the land and sell it to Quad Graphics, which will build on it, then sell it to the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, Crawford said.

The state Development Authority will then own the building and the land, and Quad Graphics will not be obligated to pay taxes.

When the facility reaches 1.2 million square feet, Quad Graphics will get a 10 percent reduction in payments.

For each additional 300,000-square-foot expansion, Quad Graphics will receive an extra 2.5 percent reduction, with a maximum abatement of 20 percent on new construction.

The Berkeley County Board of Education, the assessor's office, the sheriff's tax office and the companies have to sign the agreements to make it official, although they have already endorsed the agreements.

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