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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

TAX ABATEMENTS - Are they Working For Lawrence County?

BEDFORD - AUGUST 4, 2022 - Some would say tax abatements play an important role in economic development and job growth for a community.

Tax abatements are used for five main purposes:

  • Building improvements - Any new structure, building addition, or other improvements that increase the assessed value of the facility

  • New Manufacturing Equipment - Any new equipment that is used in the direct production, manufacturing, fabrication, assembly of a product. Used equipment can also be eligible for abatement

  • New Logistical Distribution Equipment - Any equipment that is used for storage or distribution of goods, services, or information

  • New information Technology Equipment - Any equipment, including software, that is used in information processing, office automation, telecommunications etc.

  • Research and Development - Any equipment used in experimental or laboratory research and development of new products, new uses of existing products, or improving or testing existing products

Abatements are granted to industries and manufacturers that are located within an Economic Revitalization Area. The most recent ERA has been established for the Heltonville area. The Lawrence County Council passed a resolution designating property owned by Transitions Drug Treatment Facility as a ERA.

In Lawrence County there are 30 such designations.

The purpose of a tax abatement is to achieve certain economic development growth goals for a region or community.

  • Retaining or attracting employment positions for a specific company or industry

  • Directing private investment for the revitalization of distressed local economies or areas of a community as part of redevelopment or economic development programing

  • Increasing long-term assessed value valuation for a taxing unit

  • Addressing location cost disadvantages or gap financing

Tax abatements are an Assessed Valuation Deduction, which is an annual percentage of savings of assessed valuation as the result of the new investment. This may be used to provide gap financing or incentive to locate within an area. This could also be used as a tool to create employment positions and other promises to perform certain actions.

Tax abatement of qualified, tangible property is a useful economic development tool for any county, city, town municipal government. It is very imporatant in sustained long-term development.

List of Property Abatements in Lawrence County:

  • Lehigh Cement Company LLC - 10-year Tax Abatement

  • Indiana Limestone Acquistion LLC - 10 year Tax Abatement

  • Orange County REMC - but no application in 2019, for Spice Valley, Bono and Marion Twp as well as Shawswick, Pleasant Run, and Guthrie Townships

  • C&M Conveyor - Personal and Real Estate Abatements $448,820 assessed value in Personal Property $1,506,700

  • D & M Tool Company - 10-year abatement two abatements granted. $1,116,560 in personal property granted for 10 years. Real estate for 10 years for $3,449,660 in assessed value

  • PRD Inc - Total of four abatements all for 10 years each $4,414,370

  • Embree Machine Inc - Personal property granted for 9 years $281,340 in assessed value

  • Bedford Development Group LLC - 10-year abatement Real property of $1,103,600 in assessed value

  • Bedford Machine & Tool Inc - Personal property 3 abatements for 10 years each. $3,328,490 in assessed value

  • DS Fab & Tool Inc - Personal property $30,310 in assessed

  • DST Real Estate LLC - 10 Year abatement $552,600

  • General Motors - Personal Property in six abatements for 10 years each for $124,257,460 in assessed value ( does not include recent abatement request)

  • In-Fab Inc - Real esate granted for 10 years

  • LNL Empire Group LLC - Real Estate granted for five years $348,600

  • Nan Lee- Properties - Real Estate $170,800 in assessed value

  • Stalker Apartments LP - Real estate granted for 10 years total abatment $507,900

  • Stone City Products - Personal Property $2,447,280 in Assessed Value

  • Stonecutters Place LP - Real Estate $962,200

Four Economic Development Corporations receive 15 percent in assessed value.

Four Economic Development Corporations:

  • Lawrence County Economic Growth Council

  • Bedford Redevelopment Corporation

  • Bedford Revitalization Corporation

  • Bedford Urban Enterprise Zone

Recently the General Motors Corporation was granted a 10-year 100 tax abatement to try to lure a new product line to the Bedford facility. However, GM just announced that they will be an indefinite layoff of 35 Seniority employees and temporary employees

The City of Bedford received a return of $11,585.40 from the tax abatement from Manchester Tank. In January of 2020 Manchester Tank announced the closure of the Bedford Plant. Manchester Tank was bought by the McWane Corporation. The company explored all options but decided it was no longer feasible to remain open in Bedford. Bedford Mayor Sam Craig requested a repayment due to the closure.

Jerry Ford has requested a tax-abatement for Transitions which has an assessed value of $2.9 Million. However, Ford has not allowed the Lawrence County Assessor on the property to be able to perform a proper assessment from the purchase from the North Lawrence Community School Corporation. The assessment is needed to determine the assessment from when the property was actually purchased and the additional work into the drug treatment facility.

The Lawrence County Council approved the vote to accept the ERA in a 4-2 vote, however the resolution for the ERA was voted on without proper legal description of the property.

The establishment of an ERA is the first step of the process, however a formal request for a tax abatement for Transitions has not been received by the Lawrence County Council.

Local residents are questioning the granting of tax abatements.

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