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Collierville board approves tax break for FedEx

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The Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen has agreed to give FedEx its second 20-year tax break since 1997.
Board members voted 4-2 Monday night to approve a 20-year retention Payment-in-Lieu-of-Tax (PILOT) for FedEx, with the general effect of limiting the real and personal property taxes at 25 percent of the current tax rate for Collierville taxes only, which is around $979,362 annually.
The PILOT will take effect in 2019 and run through 2038.
FedEx’s presence in Collierville includes FedEx Tech Connect, FedEx Packaging Lab, FedEx Training and Command Center and the FedEx World Technology Center and includes around 2,700 employees.
The World Technology Center on Bailey Station Road has 10 buildings on 1 million square feet. It has grown from 500,000 square feet, 1,550 workers at an average salary of $52,039 in 1997, to 979,133 square feet and 2,500 employees with an average salary of $93,500.
FedEx’s application for the tax abatement states that maintaining operations in Collierville “will be beneficial to our customers, the community, our company, and the citizens of the metropolitan.”
It notes that the tax break is necessary “in order to support any economic decision to maintain the activity at the complex in the Town of Collierville and Shelby County as a long term decision.”
“We need FedEx and we need to keep FedEx,” said Alderman John Worley.
Alderman Tom Allen, who voted against the contract, said while he supports FedEx, “everybody should pay their fair share.”
Allen and Alderman Billy Patton, who also voted against the PILOT contract, noted that the application should have been better negotiated so that both sides, the town and the FedEx, would benefit.
When Alderman Maureen Fraser asked FedEx officials in attendance if they had considered purchasing the buildings in Collierville rather than leasing them, she was told that was not being pursued.

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