Columbia-based equipment rental company EquipmentShare wants to expand with a flagship corporate office building facing Interstate 70 and a technology development center, says former Mayor Brian Treece, the company’s vice president of strategy and development.
The cost of the expansion would total $120 million. In the first year, the expansion would add 111 jobs to the company’s existing 417-employee workforce in Columbia.
To do this, the company is seeking forgiveness of 75% of property taxes for 10 years under Boone County’s Chapter 100 incentive.
Treece made the pitch Friday to the Chapter 100 Review Panel, which includes representatives from all taxing entities in the county.
“Our Chapter 100 policy is the only one like it anywhere,” said Dave Griggs, incentives committee chairman for Regional Economic Development Inc.
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The policy gives all taxing entities a seat at the table, he said.
The expansion wouldn’t happen without the local incentives, Treece said.
“We are actively considering a distributed workforce” around the country, Treece said. “I would rather create these jobs here at home.”
The technology development center could accommodate 2,300 workers, Treece said. Jobs available would include high-skill, high-wage robotics, engineering and analytics jobs.
Jobs in the corporate office would include human resources, fleet management, accounting and finance, marketing and communication, legal, and administration.
The new employees would make between $18.27 and $36.06 an hour. The company’s average annual salary is $72,289, with an average starting salary of $51,889.
The expansion could include space for a start-up incubator. The company was born out of a Columbia Startup Weekend.
The impact on taxing entities over 10 years is $2.4 million, with the largest impacts on Columbia Public Schools, $2 million; the city, $143,328; and the Daniel Boone Regional Library District, $107,425.
“CPS will still get $2 million they’re not getting now,” Treece said.
The company is also discussing partnerships with the school district and Moberly Area Community College.
Performance agreements with any company receiving the Chapter 100 tax breaks include a “clawback” provision if they don’t meet employment goals, Griggs said.
The most recent company approved under the policy was Swift Prepared Foods in 2021. It gave the company 75% forgiveness on property taxes for 10 years.
Perhaps the most controversial approval was for Kraft Heinz in 2017 for an expansion for new equipment while reducing employment.
Aurora Organic Dairy was another recipient of the economic incentive.
Next, the individual taxing entities must vote on the proposal. Then the review board of representatives would reconvene to vote on the proposal. After that and public hearings, the Boone County Commission would vote on it.
Retaining and expanding a local industry has many benefits over recruiting a new one, Griggs said after the meeting.
“It is just better if we can grow a local company instead of competing with 50 or 60 other locations for a business,” Griggs said.
Roger McKinney is the education reporter for the Tribune. You can reach him at [email protected] or 573-815-1719. He’s on Twitter at @rmckinney9.