On Thursday, Jan. 16, Syngenta AG – a global agricultural company with a large presence in Greensboro and Guilford County – came before the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and asked for nearly $2 million in incentives to remain in the area and make a capital investment of at least $68 million either in its current facility made up of 17 buildings on 70 acres or in a new facility.

The Board of Commissioners liked what they heard and the board voted to approve giving the company $1.9 million in the coming years.

Every county commissioner present, Democratic and Republican, voted to approve the incentives package. At the Jan. 16 commissioners meeting, several commissioners spoke on the valuable contributions to Guilford County’s economy that Syngenta makes, and Commissioner Skip Alston said he thought it was important that citizens understand that the county doesn’t just hand Syngenta a check. Instead, he said, some of the money the company pays in taxes is given back to it over a period of years as the company meets the stated performance measures.

Alston said that it’s vital to keep jobs in the county and said the tax revenue that the company would be getting back would amount to about 7 percent of the county taxes Syngenta paid – so, by assuring that Syngenta retains operations in Guilford County, Alston said, the county will still get the advantage of over 90 percent of the tax revenue.

Commissioner Carlvena Foster said that she was impressed that a very high percentage of Syngenta workers lived in Guilford County rather than in surrounding counties.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips said he was looking forward to the $68 million investment that Syngenta has promised to make in return for the incentives.

The county’s incentives approval followed a similar move by the Greensboro City Council just a few hours earlier in the day.