Newton school board to collect up to $12 million through Baxter development

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Board of Education won't collect any tax revenues in the near term from the development of the Baxter International health care corporation in Stanton Springs, but it could collect between $8 million and $12 million over a 10-year period starting as soon as the next five years.

The school board recently passed a tax abatement resolution that consents to the tax agreement between the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties and Baxter.

Andrea Gray with the JDA reported to the school board last week that estimates have shown that the board could receive between $8 million and $12.6 million over a 10-year period for its portion of the agreement with Baxter. Without Baxter, the school board would expect to receive $71,352 over the 10-year period.

Gray said that the start date of the revenues would be when the company receives Food and Drug Administration approval of phase one, which could be as early as 2017, or by Jan. 1, 2020.

The school board will earn its share based on the revenue sharing intergovernmental agreement developed in 2004.

Although the property is located partly in Newton and Walton counties, property tax revenues are divided among the counties based on their investment.

Newton and Walton counties each receive 37.5 percent, while Morgan County will receive 15 percent and Jasper County 10 percent.

She reported that total tax dollars collected with Baxter during a 10-year period are estimated to between $31.2 million and $49.6 million, compared to $280,000 without Baxter. The estimates are based on the Walton County millage rate.

Gray noted that counties also will benefit by increased sales tax revenues, new businesses and more jobs being attracted to the area and new employees purchasing new homes in the area.

Baxter is expected to invest more than $1 billion in the facility at Stanton Springs with a one million-square-foot development that is expected to attract nearly 1,500 new jobs, Gray reported.

The global health care company was founded in 1931 in Illinois and employs 48,500 worldwide; 2011 sales totaled $13.9 billion.


henrystamm 3 years, 5 months ago

I can see it now the incompetent politicians are spending that money already. Wasteful spending is the norm there. Shame .


John 3 years, 5 months ago

It seems there is a real important part of the equation missing from this article. That is, how much revenue (from the tax payers) will need to come from the counties to get the Baxter project up and running between now and 2017. We are getting bits & pieces of what to expect but not the whole picture - like a new water treatment plant.


HonestAbe 3 years, 5 months ago

My daddy use to have a saying for what Mrs Gray is stating. He would call it building air castles, which is stating what will never happen.I'm sure the school board will borrow on these air castles and the property tax payers will be left holding the bags. What is wrong in spending only what you have on hand? We are still a poor county. We need to spend like we are poor UNTIL and IF we become rich with Baxter tax revenues.


John 3 years, 5 months ago

Totally agree with you HonestAbe. This type of thinking is was what got a lot of people in trouble on home foreclosures i.e. spending money they "think" they are going to have from income increases, increases in home prices, etc. - like I always say the first Hula Hoop fad did not last forever.


juch 3 years, 5 months ago

Lots of those homes built during our growth spurt seem to be a problem with high foreclosure rates, code enforcement issues, and cheap infrastructure that is now costing the taxpayers (county) money and time. Heck, we don't have enough money to fix all our poorly constructed roads from cheap developers and poor specs. Now we’re left footing the bill. The rational during the growth spurt was build the homes and retail will come. Didn’t happen. Ten years later and what? Can’t even attract a movie theater. I do believe the Baxter deal is huge for Newton County. I'm amazed we got it. We do need jobs and we do need to balance the tax digest with business revenue. Hopefully those 1500 jobs from Baxter will help and maybe we can sell some of those vacant homes while we’re at it. No borrowing on pipe dreams or air castles. Let the Baxter deal work to fix some of our problems.


amp72 3 years, 5 months ago

I'm always fearful of the words "could," "is expected to," and "estimates."


Frustrated 3 years, 5 months ago

a lot of home developers and builders THOUGHT they would be rolling in the dough right now from what they thought was a housing boom. Now look at them. Most have lost everything. Take note Newton County.


sweetpotato 3 years, 5 months ago

Juch your right let the deal run its course what the public has to realize is that theres a risk to everything, thats how the rich get richer ! If it was a sure thing everybody would do it. What somebody didnt realize is that just because you have a lot of houses that doesnt bring you nice stores, restaurants etc. Those businesses are looking at income and demographics, the demographics of the west side of Newton County hurt us tremendously I know nobody wants to hear that but......thats the fact. People have got to realize when it comes to offering subsidies and tax incentives to these industries, every little town this side of the Rockies is promoting themselves as the place to be so you gotta pay to play and compete with other counties. I enjoy reading the comments that the Citizen allows us to post but I get frustrated when most of the people commenting dont have a clue what they are talking about.


Sign in to comment