County Council Approves Tax Abatement For GM

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

December 16, 2010 Updated Dec 16, 2010 at 7:40 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) --- Allen County government officials are willing to give General Motors a tax break, in hopes it will pump more money into the community over the long haul.

Allen County Council on Thursday approved a more than $4-million tax abatement over ten years, if GM officials pull the trigger on a sizeable plant expansion here.

Several GM plant sites are in the running for a big upgrade.

The Fort Wayne Truck Assembly Plant has proposed a $230-million expansion.

It includes plans for additional floor space and machinery to produce the next generation of Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.

GM would still pay $2.8 million dollars in additional taxes on the new investment.

Some people get irritated when they hear of a big corporation getting their tax bill cut down.

But county council member Paul Moss believes the benefits from a vibrant GM plant are priceless.

Paul Moss/(R) Allen County Council At Large: " We could abate all of those taxes and I'd probably be happy, because it's a huge investment, not just in the plant but also in the construction industry here locally, I mean, there will be a ripple effect that is very significant, and the abatement is well worth every penny. We're very fortunate to have that plant."

County Commissioner Nelson Peters says GM supports employment of at least 3,300 Allen County workers, with an annual payroll of more than $240-million.

The 2011 Silverado HD was voted the heavy-duty truck of the year.

Two-thirds of those vehicles are produced at the Fort Wayne plant.

Because of the long history of success at the local assembly operation, county officials are optimistic that another expansion may be in the factory’s future.

Such an upgrade is not expected to add jobs, but would help protect existing positions.

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