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Contributed rendering by Franklin Architects / Steam Logistics plans to occupy a revamped John Ross Building in downtown Chattanooga at Fourth and Broad streets.

The Hamilton County Commission on Wednesday gave final approval to offer property tax breaks to a Chattanooga-based logistics company promising 400 jobs and major economic benefits to the city.

Commissioners voted 7-1 to offer Steam Logistics, which will move into the John Ross Building in downtown Chattanooga at Fourth and Broad streets, a nine-year agreement that would save the company $500,000 in property taxes during that period.

The deal required the approval of both the commission and the Chattanooga City Council, which approved it Tuesday evening.

Commissioner Tim Boyd, R-Chattanooga, was the lone dissenting vote. Commissioner David Sharpe, D-Chattanooga, was not present at the time of the vote but later said he supports the deal. His district covers the area around the building.

"I'm just thrilled that we've been able to find someone who is able to work with it, clean it up and really get it back on the tax rolls," Sharpe said. "It should be and hasn't been for decades."

(READ MORE: Chattanooga City Council OKs Steam Logistics tax breaks)

Commissioner Warren Mackey, D-Lake Vista, called the deal a "no brainer." Boyd, however, took issue with the resolution's language while clarifying he wasn't against the tax deal itself.

Boyd asked about what would happen with the tax status if the building were to be sold, as companies have a history of flipping such buildings for profit shortly after purchasing them.

After officials struggled to determine who would be responsible, Commissioner Greg Martin, D-Hixson, said any decision would be left up to the mayors of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, as well as the Chattanooga Industrial Development Board.

No amendments were made despite Boyd expressing a desire to include the commission and city council in that process.

"I'm really tired of people coming up to the commission and asking for these tax abatement programs and not telling me the whole story," Boyd said. "It really rubs me the wrong way."

(READ MORE: Tennessee Gov. Lee eyes $276.52 million 'rebuild' for Chattanooga's Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute)

City officials and most commissioners, however, have praised the deal.

They have touted Steam Logistics' plan to bring 400 jobs with an average annual pay of $56,000. In addition, it is estimated to create $11 million in investments in the community and provide more than $114 million in economic impact.

Through the deal, the city will also bring in significantly more property tax revenue because Chattanooga developer Noon Development plans to renovate the building beginning next year, which would boost its property value, city officials have said.

The city would receive nearly $600,000 in property taxes over the period compared to $264,000 without the deal.

Steam Logistics is headquartered at 325 Market St., and CEO Jason Provonsha last week said the company may keep that office space if the pace of hiring continues.

Contact Logan Hullinger at 814-319-5158 or lhullinger@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @LoganHullinger.

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