County Approves Tax Incentives for Food Distribution Plant

NEW BRAUNFELS — The Comal County Commissioners Court has approved a tax-incentive agreement that is expected to bring more than 530 jobs to the county.

The agreement with Ben E. Keith Co., a food- and alcohol-distribution company, will allow it to relocate its south-central regional headquarters to the portion of Selma that sits inside Comal County. In return for eight years of tax rebates, Ben E. Keith agrees to maintain at least 537 employees with an annual payroll of at least $38.5 million by the end of 2025.

The Commissioners Court approved the agreement on a 5-0 vote Thursday morning.

"This agreement promises to bring mutual benefits to Comal County and to Ben E. Keith," said Precinct 2 Commissioner Scott Haag. "We're pleased to welcome this company and the jobs and investment it will provide."

The agreement calls for the county to refund 70 percent of its tax revenue for the property for three years, followed by 55 percent for the next three years and 30 percent for the final two.

As part of the agreement, Ben E. Keith Co. agrees to invest at least $75 million by 2020 in developing an 88-acre property at Alamo Parkway and Lookout Road, building offices, a warehouse and other buildings totaling 450,000 square feet.

Ben E. Keith was hired as a junior partner in a Fort Worth produce company in 1906 and became president and general manager in 1918. The company has carried his name since 1931, and now serves 14 states, employing more than 4,000 people.