Both Williamson County and the city of Georgetown approved economic development agreements with CelLink and Titan Gateway35 during their Feb. 22 meetings.
CelLink, an electronics technology company, announced it would build a 294,297-square-foot facility at Titan Gateway35’s master-planned industrial park located near the south intersection of I-35 and SH 130 in a press release Feb. 16.
The new building, which will be constructed by Titan Gateway35 and leased by CelLink, is excepted to be used for research, development and manufacture of intelligent wiring systems for electric vehicles and battery packs.
Under the agreement unanimously approved by Williamson County Commissioners, Titan Gateway35 will receive a 50% tax abatement on the value of the land and CelLink’s building, while CelLink will receive a 75% tax abatement for its tangible personal property—which includes furniture, fixtures and equipment—located onsite.
The city of Georgetown unanimously approved a similar tax break—50% on land, 75% on business property—estimated to total nearly $2.2 million over 10 years, as part of a three-fold benefit. Additionally, the city will enter into an incentive agreement to retire Renewable Energy Credits for five years on behalf of CelLink that will enable the company to retain 100% renewable electric certification for its manufacturing process, maxing out at a value of $1 million.
Finally, the Georgetown Economic Development Corporation will enter into a two-part incentive agreement totaling $3,025,000, which includes a $2,500,000 infrastructure grant and a $525,000 job creation grant for positions earning more than $75,000 annually.
Combined, CelLink and Titan Gateway35 are required to make an $80 million capital investment in the site within the first six years of the agreement, and the tax abatement provisions for both entities will be in place for 10 years.
According to county documents, Williamson County believes the tax abatement agreement is in the best interest of taxpayers as CelLink will create new permanent jobs in the county and enhance its commercial and economic base.
Georgetown director of economic development Michaela Dollar said the project is expected to bring an approximate $130 million investment into the location and about 2,000 jobs which, according to city documents, would make it Georgetown’s largest private employer.
“We are excited about this project because they are well-paying jobs that will have a positive impact on our community,” Dollar said. “We are going to benefit from the project from the property taxes that we will receive that are not being abatement for that period of time and then after the 10 years as well.”
Three Williamson County residents spoke against the tax abatement agreement saying in part that these incentive agreements shift the tax burden from corporations onto the residents.
“We’re not abating 100% of the tax,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey said in response. “The fact that they are coming here and will be paying taxes will benefit us more than if they didn’t come at all.”
Additionally, the Williamson County tax abatement agreement stipulates that CelLink will provide internships and employment opportunities for students in Georgetown ISD.
Dollar said because economic development is such a competitive industry, companies like CelLink would not move into the area without agreements such as these.
CelLink, Titan Gateway35, the city of Georgetown and Williamson County will gather for a ceremonial groundbreaking on the new facility at 9 a.m. Feb. 23. Construction on the project is expected to be complete by June.