The approval of the tax abatement means that G.M. will receive a 10 year tax break on $27 million in newly added equipment. After those 10 years they will pay the full amount in taxes. This will happen if G.M. invests the proposed 46 million dollars in the Fort Wayne plant.
City Council President, Tom Smith thinks the County Councils made the right decision. “It wasn’t just a good decision it was a great decision they made. Giving G.M. a tax abatement on their new investment is the classic no brainer.”
The 46 million dollars will be spent on adding new equipment to the plant. Currently G.M. makes light-duty Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra regular and extended cabs. With the new equipment the plant will expand production. They will add on heavy-duty, extended-cab Chevy Silverado’s and GMC Sierras.
Alicia Kocher, G.M. Communication Manager for Ft. Wayne says “What this means is that we are going to retain the workers we currently have and be able to keep two shifts operating.”
If G.M. chooses the Fort Wayne plant to invest in, 2,484 jobs will be secure.
Paula Hughes, Allen County Council Representative says “If they do not make this investment they will not keep those 50 jobs. If they don’t make this investment in Fort Wayne we could loose all the jobs.”
The council also explained that the community should not be concerned that approval of the tax abatement will impact spending in other areas.
Hughes says “It’s not reducing their current tax bill. It’s just saying if you put more money into Fort Wayne, we will wave the taxes only on that portion, for a certain number of years.”
Local 2209 Union Spokesman, Orval Plumlee, sees this as a victory for both the plant and community. “Anytime you increase the flexibility of a facility, it adds job security to the membership and adds some security to the community and hopes of being able to keep a location open.”
The question now is will G.M. choose the Fort Wayne plant? Kocher says she does not know when the decision will be made. She could not comment on which plants are competing against Fort Wayne for the expansion.
Allen County Council approves five to ten abatements each year. Currently there are 40 companies receiving abatements.