Berkeley County approves agreement with Volvo, set to sign contract Thursday

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Berkeley County Council on Wednesday night approved a fee in lieu of taxes agreement with Volvo Cars.

According to county spokesman Michael Mule, it is the “last piece of the puzzle for the agreement on our end,” and gives Supervisor Bill Peagler the authority to sign the official contract Thursday to bring Volvo to the Lowcountry.

The agreement will replace the Volvo plant’s property taxes with a lower, negotiated fee, so the county will primarily benefit from sales taxes generated by the plant and its workers.

Volvo announced May 11 that it will build its $500 million car factory in Berkeley County. It will anchor the Camp Hall Industrial Campus near Ridgeville, with construction starting later this year.

Mule said council members also voted Wednesday to approve the initial engineering contracts with Thomas and Hutton for the Camp Hall site improvements project.

In addition to increased tax revenue, Berkeley County will provide water and sewer service to the Volvo factory, which will generate $10 million in impact fees and more than $1.3 million per year in additional operating revenue, according to the report.

The factory will further boost the state’s standing to $4.8 billion in annual economic output, according to credit-rating firm Moody’s Investors Service.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughton.