Commission votes to extend Borla PILOT agreement

Published 5:41 pm Thursday, January 18, 2018

In an overwhelming show of support for a local company, members of the Carter County Commission voted to extend the Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with Borla Performance Industries for an additional 10 years.

Borla Performance Industries relocated its company headquarters from California to Carter County several years ago and made its home in the old Texas Instruments facility off of South Roan Street in a portion of Johnson City that lies within Carter County.

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Carter County previously approved a 5-year PILOT agreement with the company, which had been set to expire at the end of 2017. The Commission voted in November to extend the agreement through the end of January 2018 to allow the county’s Industrial Development Board the opportunity to review a request from Borla to extend the PILOT agreement for another 10 years.

The Industrial Development Board toured the Borla facility and reviewed the request before voting to approve the extension. On Tuesday evening, the Board presented their recommendation to the full Commission for consideration.

Allen Stoner, the Chief Financial Officer for Borla Performance Industries, spoke to the Commission about the many improvements Borla has made to the property since moving in, as well as the number of jobs provided by both their company as well as other businesses who lease space at the facility.

According to Stoner, through all of the companies’ efforts, Borla Performance Industries has had a $62 million economic impact on the region.

“There are more tenant employees at the facility than Borla employees, so think about that economic impact,” Stoner said.

Through the PILOT agreement, Stoner said the company has been able to invest the funds that would have been paid in property taxes to make improvements and maintain the 50-year-old property and to provide lower lease rates to the other tenants, which he said also helps promote job growth and increase the tax base.

According to records from the Carter County Assessor of Property’s Office, the Borla Performance Industries property and assets are appraised at a value of $7,592,600. Industrial properties are assessed taxes on 40 percent of the total appraised value, which for Borla Performance Industries would be $3,037,040. At the current tax rate, that would equate to $75,015 in a tax payment to the county.

The founder and Chief Executive Officer of Borla Performance Industries, Alex Borla, was also in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting and he thanked the Commission for their support since he moved his company to the county.

“We were outsiders, and we’ve felt nothing but love and support,” Borla said.

Commissioner Ronnie Trivett made a motion to approve the extension of the PILOT agreement for an additional 10 years. Commissioner Charles VonCannon provided the second for the motion, which ultimately passed by a margin of 21-1.

Commissioners Willie Campbell, Buford Peters, Dr. Robert Acuff, Mike Hill, Al Meehan, Ronnie Trivette, Charles VonCannon, Bradley Johnson, L.C. Tester, Danny Ward, Isaiah Grindstaff, Ross Garland, Bobbie Gouge-Dietz, Timothy Holdren, Randall Jenkins, John Lewis, Sonja Culler, Ray Lyons, Scott Simerly, Robert Carroll, and Cody McQueen all voted in favor of approving the extension. Commissioner Larry “Doc” Miller provided the sole dissenting vote. Commissioners Nancy Brown and Kelly Collins were absent from the meeting.