Council hears no comments or opposition to JUUL Labs’ incentives during Tuesday’s public hearing
Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Lexington County Council heard no opposition Tuesday evening to the fee in lieu agreement they are offering JUUL Labs, Inc. This is a common agreement between taxing governments and an industry that is bringing development and jobs to their area, in this case Lexington County. In fee in lieu agreements, the industry pays a set fee instead of property taxes for an agreed upon period. At some point in the future, the industry would begin being taxed on a percentage basis of the value of their property.
According to the SC Department of Commerce’s website, JUUL Labs. plans to invest more than $125 million in the new assembly facility in Lexington County. This investment is expected to help create more than 500 new jobs to support the assembly operations. The Lexington County operations will assemble and package JUUL products using advanced production techniques. Operations are expected to come online this summer, and those interested in job opportunities should contact Randstad or Aerotek.
JUUL Labs is the world’s largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are electronic devices that use a liquid that vaporizes when heated by the JUUL device. It emits a vapor instead of smoke as the user draws on it much like a traditional cigarette.
E-cigarettes help smokers switch from regular tobacco filled cigarettes to these “vapes” for several reasons. The liquids they use can be flavored to fit the user’s taste. The liquid may or may not contain nicotine depending on what the user wants. They don’t give off the offensive smell that tobacco does. They also don’t stain a car, home, or office’s interior with cast off smoke like a normal cigarette. Most importantly, there’s no ash or filter left that must be disposed of with use. JUUL devices charge with a mini-USB charger much like a cellphone.
JUUL Labs Chief Executive Officer Kevin Burns recently said, "We are excited to work with community leaders to support the creation of high-quality American jobs for a diverse and inclusive workforce drawn from across the Midlands as we continue to invest in helping adult smokers switch from combustible cigarettes and combatting youth usage."
The concern that children are using their products has prompted JUUL to take numerous steps to combat that issue. Their leadership has said in the past that they will continue to make it a top priority to keep these devices out of the wrong hands. They continually stress that JUUL products are for adult use only.
County Council Chairman Scott Whetstone said Tuesday it was his understanding that JUUL would locate in an industrial park developed by the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. This park sits between Platt Springs Road and Old Barnwell Road just outside the Town of Springdale.