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      Potter County commissioners pass Coca Cola tax break

      Potter County Commissioners voted 3-2 on the Coca Cola 10 year tax abatement on Monday.

      The agreement would include an $8.5 million new plant for Coca Cola and an estimated $84,000 annually in abated property taxes. In return the company will give their current property to the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation for a new multi purpose stadium.

      Coca Cola says it's only seeking abatement of the difference between the property tax it pays now and the property tax it would pay on its new plant.

      This is the final piece of the agreement and some Potter County Commissioners said this will greatly help the future of Amarillo's downtown revitalization.

      "I'm really convinced the downtown revitalization is a critical component of the city of Amarillo, and it will bring people downtown," Potter County Commissioner Leon Church said.

      Other commissioner's who were opposed don't think it will push growth far enough.

      "We use a base scale of significant advantage that we would expect and also new potential jobs and what they look like for the residents and Potter County and neither of those in terms of questioning these dollars were presented to the court," said Potter County Commissioner Mercy Murguia.

      Luisa Casso, Director of Public Affairs for Coca Cola, said while this new deal may expand growth, new jobs are not in its near future.

      "There is a potential growth, right now that does not exist," Casso said.

      Church said he believes the additional money from the abatement would come from taxable properties from new residents and business owners.