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‘Project L’ is Duracell

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County Fee in Lieu of Tax agreement to support improvements at Proctor & Gamble battery plant

By Reece Murphy

Monday night, June 23, Lancaster County Council approved third reading of a Fee in Lieu of Tax (FILOT) agreement for the corporate project formerly known as “Project L” – a five-year $69 million capital investment project at Lancaster’s Procter & Gamble Duracell battery plant.

P&G’s Lancaster plant is the only national producer of Duracell AA batteries. The plant has operated at 1551 S.C. 9 Bypass West for more than 35 years. The company currently has more than 400 workers and is one of the county’s largest employers.

The $69 million project at the center of the agreement is for technical upgrades and other improvements to the plant’s production lines, Lancaster County Administrator Steve Willis said. 

Though the project will not create new jobs, Willis said upgrades and tax agreement are a good investment in Lancaster County.

“Growing and sustaining our home industry is just as important as finding new industry,” Willis said. 

“Duracell is a great company and a great corporate citizen; the kind of company you want in your community,” he said. “Anything we can do to help it grow benefits the county at large.”

The incentive package includes a 30-year FILOT agreement on non-school district property taxes and a Special Source Revenue Credit that will shave up to 50 percent off the company’s property taxes for 10 years. 

The FILOT agreement also extends similar agreements made in 1998 and 2008 from 20 to 30 years and waives any “clawback” payments due under the 2008 agreement. 

Clawbacks are penalties that repay tax credits if the minimum investment terms of the FILOT are not met within the specified time period.

The agreement estimates P&G Duracell will pay $73,645 in FILOT payments each year. 

The fee payments are expected to save the company an estimated $8,027,285 in property taxes and the special source revenue credit is expected to save $3,789,542.

According to the agreement, the arrangement is worth an estimated $12,413,626 in benefits for the county and state over the life of the agreement, including a $10.3 million construction benefit, a $2.05 million facility operations benefit and a $7,400 visitor benefit.

A P&G spokesman who asked to remain anonymous said in contrast to other reports of the project as an “expansion,” the improvements would not change the footprint of the plant and were instead an investment in “innovation and battery manufacturing capabilities.”

“Duracell is committed to manufacturing top performing batteries,” he said. “A high quality, top-performing product providing superior value to the consumer is good for consumers, our shareholders, our employees and the communities where they live and work.”

 

Contact reporter Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151