In-N-Out gets tax abatement for Tennessee HQ

Published 3:27 pm Monday, June 19, 2023

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Williamson County agreed to give In-N-Out Burger a $1.9 million property tax abatement at its most recent meeting.

The abatement is in addition to the $2.75 million given to In-N-Out Burger from the state for its new Franklin headquarters, making the total incentives at $4.65 million.

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The restaurant group said there will be 277 jobs in Williamson County at a 100,000-square-foot three-story office, set to begin construction in 2024 and finish by 2026 with a restaurant on the site.

Williamson County said In-N-Out is committed to having those jobs at the site and the abatement, part of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes, will be awarded if In-N-Out maintains 80% of the 277 workers throughout that time.

An estimate of the abatement over 10 years, starting in 2026, would amount to the county portion of the abatement being $1.6 million while the county collected an estimated $2.4 million in property tax payments over the 10-year period.

At the end of that time, In-N-Out will be required to make full property tax payments.

“Lynsi Snyder, sole owner of In-N-Out Burger, is worth $4.2 billion,” said Commissioner Greg Sanford. “Pay your fair share. … The handouts have got to stop.”

Matt Largen, President and CEO of the Williamson County’s Chamber of Commerce, acknowledged that incentives have a bad rap but he believes the county needs them to be competitive against other counties and states offering incentives. He also said that the county collects just $235 annually in property tax on the undeveloped land and that will go to an estimated $219,000 annually after the headquarters is built.

“These jobs and this company represent opportunity,” Largen said.

Mike Abbate, Assistant Vice President of Real Estate at In-N-Out Burgers, said that employees of the company can eat at the restaurant every day free of charge, which he told the Williamson County Board “I’m not sure if that’s super healthy, but it’s part of our company values.”