Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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March 25, 2013

Entities to meet on tax suit

Corsicana — A settlement in the tax abatement litigation with Home Depot Distribution Center may be near.

Three Navarro County governmental bodies that granted incentives to the company when it moved into the old K-Mart Distribution Center on South U.S. Highway 287 filed suit against the company in October 2012, after Home Depot closed down the distribution center and moved its operations to Dallas.

Navarro County, the city of Corsicana, and Navarro College claimed in the suit the company owed them $1.3 million in taxes since Home Depot broke the agreement by moving.

Monday, the Navarro County Commissioners Court met in closed session to hear an update on negotiations with the company, and acted by authorizing Navarro County Judge H.M. Davenport Jr. to complete negotiations and sign an agreement on behalf of the county with Home Depot.

The Corsicana City Council is scheduled to hold a special called meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, also a closed meeting to discuss litigation. Navarro College trustees will gather at noon Wednesday in the president’s dining room for a closed session on the topic as well.

The original abatement deal called for inventory of $47 million, capital improvements worth $4 million, and the creation of 250 jobs. The deal was amended in 2009 due to the downturn in the economy. The revised agreement called for $40 million in inventory, an increase in property improvement to $8 million, but only 150 jobs.

In November 2011, Home Depot said it was moving to a new facility in DeSoto, who offered the company and incentive package that included a new building and a 75 percent personal property tax abatement. Dallas County, the city of Dallas, the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation and private landowners provided in excess of $4.5 million in additional incentives to facilitate the move. The company completed the transition to DeSoto in 2012.

The Home Depot retail store in Corsicana is unaffected by the litigation.

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