Commerce Secretary: No special tax deal in Procter & Gamble incentive package

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state’s Commerce Secretary is predicting Procter & Gamble’s planned $500 million manufacturing facility in Berkeley County will have an even larger economic impact in West Virginia in the future than initially announced.

“We have a high confidence level that this project will end up being maybe even substantially bigger than what’s being announced,” Keith Burdette said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“I think Procter & Gamble’s doing the right thing. They’re being conservative in their calculations there, but we’ve had broader discussions about the site, how much it can handle, how big their product line may be there.”

P&G officials said their plans, as of now, call for a 1,000,000-square foot facility to be built on more than 450 acres at Martinsburg’s Tabler Station Business Park. It’s part of a company-wide realignment, according to P&G, though the company has not yet specified what products will eventually be produced in Berkeley County.

During construction, Procter & Gamble has estimated 1,000 jobs could be created. Once the facility is in operation, possibly as soon as 2017, company officials projected 700 people would fill permanent jobs.

“We think the building will end up being substantially larger. We think the investment may get larger. We think the jobs may get bigger,” Burdette said. P&G suppliers, he said, could also create many more jobs in West Virginia.

As part of the development deal, Burdette said the state is providing approximately $8.5 million in assistance for site preparation and infrastructure development. As for any additional tax¬†incentives, “They’re going to be able to access the same credits as everybody else. There’s no special deal,” Burdette said.

During the 18 months of talks on the project, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin put decision makers at the table with P&G to address issues as they were brought up by the company, according to Burdette.

“I get the impression that didn’t happen everywhere and that they were impressed that a state like West Virginia could actually be more nimble, more responsive,” he said. “This is a big deal for them.”

Construction is expected to begin later this year on what P&G officials have said will be “one of the most advanced and sustainable plants among P&G’s global manufacturing and supply-chain operations.” It will be only the second manufacturing plant the company has built in the U.S. since 1971.

P&G’s existing East Coast distribution network already includes sites in Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Each of Procter & Gamble’s 23 brands have annual sales of more than $1 billion.

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