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Mystery employer wants tax breaks to bring 45 new jobs to county

Horry County plans to sell more than nine acres of the property outlined in yellow on Century Circle to a company interested in bringing 45 jobs to the Conway area.
Horry County plans to sell more than nine acres of the property outlined in yellow on Century Circle to a company interested in bringing 45 jobs to the Conway area. Horry County

The identity of a manufacturing operation seeking special tax breaks to bring 45 jobs to Conway will remain a secret until next month, even from its own employees.

“I can’t tell you because they haven’t told their employees yet what’s going on,” said Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus, when asked to identify the mystery company.

“Our obligation to them is, we can’t announce until September when they tell us we can,” Lazarus said. “But they are definitely coming.”

What Lazarus can say, is that only two or three of the company’s current employees will be moving with the operation to Horry County, and that the 45 jobs will be filled by local residents.

And, those jobs are expected to pay about $22 an hour, Lazarus said.

The 9.4 acre property zoned for heavy industrial use is being sold by Horry County, and the council is expected to approve the $329,000 sale at their Aug. 22 council meeting.

The council is also proposing the property be designated as a multicounty business park, an economic development tool used by counties to compete with other locations vying for a company. The final vote on that designation is expected Sept. 5.

In this case, the new company will pay a fixed fee in lieu of property taxes for 20 years giving them certainty in budgeting.

The amount of those fees will depend on the value of the equipment that the company brings with it, Lazarus said.

The investment of the company is estimated at $5.5 million, Lazarus said.

The mystery company is also counting on a tax break from the City of Conway in their business license fees.

Adam Emrick, interim city administrator, says Conway doesn’t have a lot of manufacturing. And in this case, their fee structure would charge the new company at least $10,000 more than what the county would normally charge for a business license.

Rather than just give this one company a break, Emrick said the council wants to examine a restructuring of their business license fees to bring it more closely in line with the county.

The current Conway models charges a flat business license fee on total revenues. Emrick said a downward sliding scale might make more sense.

For example, once a company reaches a $3 million threshold, decrease the fee from one percent to a half percent, Emrick said.

“We don’t want to punish them for being ultra successful,” Emrick said.

The company is registered in South Carolina as Industrial Attitude and lists a proxy as its agent -- Corporation Service Company of Delaware.

The company is also registered in Illinois and the agent there is listed with a company called Agracel, a building management company.

Lazarus said that a developer other than the company is buying the real estate, constructing the manufacturing center and then will lease or sell the property back to the business-to-be-named-later.

Audrey Hudson: 843-444-1765, @AudreyHudson

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