Monday, February 16, 2009

Corporate Welfare Update

From The Houston Business Journal:
Minute Maid employees reported to work at the company’s new headquarters building in Sugar Land on Monday.

More than 300 employees have moved into the recently completed Minute Maid Building at 2150 Town Square Place in Sugar Land Town Square.

Minute Maid, a division of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., moved from 2000 St. James Place in Houston into 115,000 square feet of leased office space in the Sugar Land building, which was developed by Planned Community Developers Ltd. The mixed-use Sugar Land Town Square is located at the southwest corner of Highway 59 and Highway 6.

As a tenant in Town Square, Minute Maid will benefit from a 100 percent tax abatement on real property improvements for seven and a half years from the City of Sugar Land, Fort Bend County and the levee improvement district.

The City of Sugar Land also gave a $2.4 million direct incentive to Minute Maid to relocate from the Galleria area, where it had operated for more than 25 years. However, the company had to agree to two conditions: Put its name on the outside of the office building and refer to Sugar Land as its headquarters location in all corporate materials.

Minute Maid will eventually employ as many as 400 people in Sugar Land.

Citizens of Sugar Land, do you agree with how your tax dollars were spent? Do you believe in the free market? Is this a better use of municipal tax dollars than on roads, schools, libraries, police, flood control, etc.? Do you think small businesses and existing businesses in Sugar Land should get seven years tax abatement too? Just wondering.

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