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Council gives initial approval to another tax abatement

Managing Editor

TELL CITY – ATTC Manufacturing representative Jeff Jones requested yet another in a growing number of tax abatements helping the company as it adds equipment to its assembly lines and people to its workforce.

He told the county council at a regular meeting July 24 the latest addition will be a flexible machining system worth $750,000. It will require the addition of two jobs, increasing payroll by $50,000, Jones said.

“We have two flexible machining systems right now,” he told the council, explaining they allow “more or less a manual way of making rotors and drums as opposed to the automated lines.”

The flexible systems are easy to reconfigure and “more for the low-volume” jobs, he explained. “We’re looking to add a third one based on increased need from our customers. One of the things we have to do as a company is after a car goes out of mass production, we still have to support that car for seven years with service parts,” which the equipment will support. Its setup will begin in September and production will begin in October, a much shorter timeframe than is needed for mass-production lines, which require approximately six months.

The council gave their unanimous preliminary approval to a resolution supporting the abatement.

Tax abatements are intended to spur economic growth and locally have traditionally been given for 10 years, with all of the property tax on the equipment abated the first year. Payments are increased by 10 percent each subsequent year until the company is paying the full amount. This abatement term will begin with property assessed next year and payable in 2016.

The public can voice any concerns about the abatement at the council’s next regular meeting, scheduled for Aug. 28. Its members meet at 4:30 p.m. in the county courthouse. The council would have to approve a confirmatory resolution then for the abatement to go into effect.

This request follows one Jones made in May for the addition of differential-case production equipment worth $5.5 million to produce parts for Honda Civic and Fit vehicles. Two new employees would be needed, increasing payroll by $50,000. The News noted in reporting that request other abatements in recent years supported the addition of four differential-case production lines worth up to $7 million and hiring of eight people; a 2,700-square-foot expansion of the company’s finished-goods warehouse and a 1,542-square-foot break and meeting room and the addition of 9,667 square feet for a gym and training, multipurpose and meeting rooms.