January 12, 2023
Ken De La Bastide, The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON — The Anderson City Council has approved a seven-year tax abatement for a $460 million expansion of the Nestlé plant.
The council Thursday unanimously approved two resolutions granting a seven-year, 70% tax abatement on a $400 million equipment investment and a $60 million real property expansion.
Thomas Wunderlich, Nestlé’s factory manager, said the investment is to make sure the company stays competitive and grows in the community.
He said the company is starting an apprenticeship program with Anderson Community Schools to begin training students for future employment opportunities.
Wunderlich said the program will start with six students in February and can be expanded in the future.
He said the latest investment is for all the infrastructure in the Anderson facility.
Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said since locating in Anderson in 2006, the company has invested $1.6 billion.
He said Nestlé employs 794 people, and an additional 68 jobs will be created.
Winkler said the average salary is $88,000 per year, and the annual payroll currently is about $76 million.
He said the tax abatement will save the company an estimated $10 million to $12 million in property taxes, but Nestlé will be paying an additional $30 million in property taxes.
Wunderlich said the company employs 425 Madison County residents, with 300 employees living in Anderson.
Council President Rebecca Crumes said she toured the facility and it’s an impressive operation.
“He (Wunderlich) has extended his hand to develop a local work force,” she said. “I believe he is sincere.”
Councilman Lance Stephenson also expressed support for the apprenticeship program the company is starting.
Nestlé’s initial Anderson investment was $359 million with the creation of 300 jobs. This is the company’s seventh expansion of its facilities here.