With nine of the 14 county commissioners present for the November meeting of the White County Board of Commissioners, a quorum was met, and the commissioners present voted on and passed all items on the meeting’s agenda.
One of the items on the agenda, Resolution 72-11-2021 Opioid Abatement Agreement, required a little clarification from county executive Denny Wayne Robinson.
“Tennessee is a part of a national suit against opioid companies to try to recoup some of the damages inflicted by opioid abuse,” Robinson said.
He told the commissioners that a settlement agreement had been reached between the companies and the attorneys. Robinson has checked with White County’s attorney as well as with the district attorney who was representing Tennessee in the suit.
“We have to register with the court system through an online portal,” Robinson said. “I don’t know how much, or if any, money will be coming, but if we don’t do it, we don’t get a share of the judgement.”
All nine commissioners present – Andy Haston, Roger Mason, Dakota White, TK Austin, Stanley Neal, Lonnie Crouch, Robert McCormick, Lanny Selby, and Kyle Goff – passed the resolution unanimously.
Robinson also addressed two other resolutions, 75-11-2021 PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) for HMMI and 76-11-2021 PILOT for Jackson Kayak.
“When a company comes in, you can give up to 20 years of tax relief. The abatement is on personal property only. It’s not real property, but the real property stays in the county’s name during this time,” he explained. “The reason we [approve] it in five-year increments is to be sure they are hitting their marks with the number of people they are supposed to hire and other agreements. We want to make sure we are getting what we are supposed to. That’s why we don’t do it for 20 years at once.”
Robinson also told the commissioners that HMMI was being approved for the final five years of their abatement. Once those years expired, HMMI would be responsible for full taxes on both personal and real property.
All nine commissioners present unanimously approved the resolutions to extend five more years of tax abatement to both HMMI and Jackson Kayak as both companies were honoring their employment agreements and provide quality employment opportunities to White County.
Not present at the November meeting were Dillard Quick, Lee Broyles, Terry Alley, Dale Bennett, and Cain Rogers.
The next meeting of the White County Board of Commissioners will be 6 p.m., Dec. 20, 2021, in the third-floor courtroom at the courthouse.
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