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Charlotte Area

Charlotte City Council Approves Frito-Lay Incentives

The Charlotte City Council approved a $3 million package of tax breaks for snack maker Frito-Lay to expand in the city.  

The maker of Fritos, Lays, and other potato chips and snacks has about 560 employees at a warehouse and distribution center in southwest Charlotte. Under the terms of the deal, Frito-Lay will receive $1.2 million in tax breaks from the city and another $2 million from Mecklenburg County. In return, Frito-Lay will create at least 30 jobs.

Councilwoman Vi Lyles says that’s a modest amount, but argues the deal makes sense.

“We need to be a part of their growth system, and I think that’s why we were so willing to do the investment,” Lyles says. “The job count is 35. The investment in equipment, and what that means for the future is where I think there was a lot of value added.”

Frito-Lay also commits to investing more than $70 million to turn its current Charlotte location into a so-called “mega-facility,” where the company can both manufacture and ship products.

Lyles says that will anchor the company in the city. It will be the tenth of Frito-Lay’s 34 plants to receive the “mega-facility” treatment, and it’s not clear if the company will close others it doesn’t convert.

The city council voted 6-1 for the incentive package, with Councilman Kenny Smith voting against.

Earlier this month, Mecklenburg County Commissioners agreed to their share of the deal in a closed session, although the Charlotte Observer reports it failed during its first vote. The county will vote publicly next week.