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Newton County to receive $1.125 million from Meta PILOT payment

NEWTON COUNTY – Newton County will soon see a substantial return on investment from one of its Stanton Springs tenants.

Members of the Joint Development Authority (JDA)  voted unanimously to disperse $3 million in PILOT payments from Meta – the parent company of social media platforms Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram – to Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties at the Tuesday April 23 meeting.

Like previous payments, the PILOT payment from Meta will be dispersed via each county’s initial investment. For Newton County, that number will be 37.5 percent, totaling to $1.125 million.

It will be split three ways through county entities based on the millage rate.

Newton County Schools will receive the most with $710,550. The Newton County Board of Commissioners will bring in $374,737.50 while Newton County fire will see $39,712.50.

With the approval, this brings the amount of monetary returns in FY23 from the JDA to $10.5 million, the most ever according to the authority. The JDA specifically cites PILOT payments from Meta ($5 million) and tax dollars from biopharmaceutical manufacturer Takeda ($5.5 million) as the two monetary sources.

A full financial report was released by the JDA during Tuesday’s meeting, outlining a number of different areas, including plans from current tenants.

For Takeda, they are currently working with the JDA as well as Newton County on several inquiries, including speed bumps, signage and the parkway name.

The PILOT payment of $3 million for Meta was listed as the latest update for the tech giant, along with construction updates. Currently, the two Meta campuses are “under construction: and the final certificates have occupancy have been issued on three buildings at the Morning Hornet Campus.

The new Newton County Water & Sewer Authority project that broke ground last November is currently continuing construction, and is coordinating with Takeda and the JDA in regards to easements.

Also provided was an update on the electric vehicle company Rivian, which announced a pause in construction on March 7. The JDA said that Rivian took control of the Stanton Springs site as of Jan. 1 and “is taking measures to stabilize and secure the site.” 

Additionally, the JDA provided a note of optimism about the future of the site in the update.

“It [Rivian] announced a pause in vertical construction on March 7 but anticipates meeting its job and investment requirements (80 percent of 7,500 jobs and $5 billion invested) by December 2030 as required under the existing agreements,” per the financial report.

Additionally, the Q1 financial report cites anticipated projects for Q2, including the anticipated opening of Frontage Road, ongoing site stabilization from Rivian, adoption of the FY24 budget and distribution of the aforementioned $3 million PILOT payment from Meta to the counties and school districts.