July 22, 2015

Collierville Board OK’s Tax Break To Attract Helena Chemical

By Katherine Cromer
– The Commercial Appeal –

Helena Chemical Co., received an offer it couldn’t refuse.

In an attempt to lure Helena Chemical to Schilling Farms, Collierville’s Industrial Development Board voted last week to offer the company a 10-year million-dollar tax break.

By a vote of 6-1, with board member Ed Green dissenting, the board offered Helena the incentive plan.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen ratified the agreement Monday night.

Whether the plan goes into effect depends on Helena’s negotiating an agreeable lease with Boyle Investment Co., which owns the land in Schilling Farms.

Helena Chemical Co., in Memphis’s Crescent Center on Poplar, is a national leader in the agricultural products industry.

Collierville’s Planning Commission approved plans this month for a four-story 104,473 square-foot building between Schilling Boulevard West and Winchester Road.

Helena would occupy 75,000 square-feet of that building for its company’s corporate headquarters only, with no manufacturing or distribution at that site.

The tax incentives are being offered through the town’s payment in lieu of tax or PILOT plan.

The Industrial Development Board offered Helena up to 10 years of tax breaks, that will save the company about $63,000 a year in city taxes and about $150,000 a year in county taxes. After 10 years, Helena would be looking at more than $1 million in savings.

"I was really pleased," said Roger Lewis, representing Helena Chemical Co. at the board meeting. "Coming to Collierville is such a perfect match for our company."

Federal Express was given a 20-year tax freeze on its $196.2 million information technology center on Bailey Station.

The plot of land Helena is considering is part of the 458 acre Schilling Farms development that originally was approved in February 1991.

Schilling Farms contains a combination of offices, residential and medical uses, as well as the Collierville YMCA, Schilling Farms Middle School and plans for future restaurants.

The new building could cost Helena about $11,000. Helena has 173 employees and anticipates creation of 73 jobs.