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EDC reports on tax abatements

Keith Gillenwater, president of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), reported to LaGrange County Council Tuesday that all firms to which tax abatements have been granted are in compliance with their agreements.

Cruiser RV in Howe received an abatement in 2010 for both personal property and a real estate building addition with a value of $397,712. The company agreed to add 15 new employees to its base of 114.

For 2013, Cruiser had 207 employees and payroll had more than doubled.

Everlast Roofing in Howe started with four employees in 2004 and now has 26 employees. The abatement awarded in 2004 on personal property and real estate improvements amounted to $1.6 million. Payroll is nearly 10 times that of 2004.

Lennard Ag Company of Howe was awarded a tax abatement on real estate and personal property of some $3.1 million in 2010. They committed for 33 new jobs at that time and at the end of 2013 were at 54 employees. Payroll was more than double of what was projected.

Lund, Inc., doing business as Deflecta-Shield Accessories, received a tax abatement on $654,738 in personal property in 2009. The company agreed to retain old jobs and hire new people for a total employment base of 101 employees. The company  had 112 employees at the end of 2013.

Tri-State Hardwoods of South Milford received abatements in 2004, 2010 and 2011. These total some $2.4 million. The employment base started at 29 and has risen to 32 plus three truck drivers and three employees through a temp agency for a total of 38.

Mudd-Ox, Inc. received a tax abatement in 2012 for $125,477 in personal property. At that time the company had six employees. At the end of 2013, the company had added three employees and payroll had increased as expected. Gillenwater reported that Mudd-Ox is looking to hire 10 employees right now. “We recently held a hiring event at the LaGrange Work One office with them,” he said.

County council members accepted the report and found that all of the companies were compliant with the expectations of the approved abatements.