By LOU WILIN
Blanchard Valley Port Authority voted Tuesday to help a Fulton County steel mini-mill avoid perhaps over $2 million in sales taxes for materials to build new buildings.
North Star Bluescope is planning to break ground soon for up to 10 buildings, costing $80 million. Equipment for the buildings would bring the total cost of the project to $700 million.
Construction of the buildings is expected to be completed in 2021.
Plans call for the Blanchard Valley Port Authority to become the owner of the buildings in a closing as soon as next week.
Government bodies, like the port authority, do not pay sales tax. So sales tax will not be levied on construction materials for North Star Bluescope’s building expansion. North Star employs 390, and plans to add 90 workers with the expansion.
If North Star Bluescope was the initial owner of the buildings and bought all of the construction materials in Fulton County, where the sales tax rate is 7.25 percent, it would pay about $2.9 million tax.
However, it is likely that some construction materials for the project will be purchased outside Fulton County.
For helping North Star avoid the sales taxes, Blanchard Valley Port Authority will collect a building rental fee of about $232,000 from North Star.
By year-end 2024, North Star will buy the land and buildings from the port authority for $10,000.
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