County Council Looks At Report Card On Abatement Agreements

By Jeff Neumeyer

July 15, 2010 Updated Jul 15, 2010 at 5:25 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Allen County Council members on Thursday put several companies getting tax breaks under the microscope, to see if they are living up to their promises.

In this tough economy, council reviewed tax abatement agreements on the county's books, and found that all but one abatement recipient was holding up its end of the bargain.

One company also secured a new abatement.

The Saratoga Potato Chip Company, that plans to fire up operations this fall creating about one hundred new jobs, was granted a 7-year $115,000 abatement on equipment and improvements to their building.

Tax abatements allow companies to have their property tax responsibilities on new investment phased-in over time.

In exchange, those companies routinely promise to provide specific numbers for new jobs, investment and payroll levels.

There’s an ongoing debate over this issue, with some critics questioning why we need to subsidize private industry in the first place.

Darren Vogt/(R) Allen County Council 3rd District: " If we don't give them the investment, then they may not invest in the community, so it's kind of a double-edged sword. We could say no, we're not going to abate anyone, we're going to be a non-business friendly type community, but then we wouldn't have nearly the people wanting to invest in here, if we're not willing to help them offset some of that initial cost."

No action was taken against the one company that is out of compliance with its abatement agreement.

Vogt said it's an outfit that makes concrete mixers, and because the construction business has been hit really hard, council felt patience is warranted.

What are your thoughts CLICK HERE to leave us a "QUESTION OF THE DAY” comment.

© Copyright 2016, A Quincy Media broadcasting station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.