Outdoor goods distribution center gets tax breaks

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COLUMBIA - The Boone County Commission is giving some tax breaks to a gun distribution plant.

The commission has signed off on a Chapter 100 plan and bonds for the American Outdoor Brands project. The bonds will be issued in the principal amount not to exceed $23 million.

American Outdoor Brands is building a site on 210 acres along Route Z north of I-70. 

Under Chapter 100 the facility, construction materials and certain tangible personal property may be purchased tax exempt by the county and then leased back to the company.

No public comment was made at Thursday's hearing.

Presiding Commissioner Daniel Atwell said the Chapter 100 is essential to the construction of the gun distribution center.

"Without the Chapter 100, there wouldn't have been any project at all," he said.

Atwell said the commission has come to an agreement for American Outdoor Brands to receive these tax reductions.

"They have to fulfill certain promises in order to receive these benefits," he said. 

The bonds that will be used to pay for the materials needed will be paid back only by the revenue of the distribution plant.

"The county assumes no responsibility for payment of these bonds, that's one of the nice things about this kind of project," Atwell said. "We can assist in major projects without taking any risk."

If the distribution plant does not produce the expected revenue and is unable to pay the bonds then the county would not be forced to pay the bonds. 

"It's a complicated process and it actually works very well in certain circumstances," Atwell said.

Liz Sharp, a representative with American Outdoor Brands, said the distribution center should be finished by the end of 2019 and is already hiring.