Members of the La Porte City Council approved the use of "enterprise zone real property investment deduction credits" for the company, which is investing $300,000 in a 6,400-square-foot expansion.
The expansion will create five jobs paying an average of $26 per hour, not including benefits, according to company controller Craig Attar. He said the positions would be filled immediately.
The company will receive a tax break on the new building for 10 years but must pay 35 percent of those savings as a fee to the city’s Urban Enterprise Association, which reinvests those funds in the enterprise zone, an area encompassing the industrial park as well as certain residential neighborhoods and downtown.
UEA funds have been used to renovate downtown buildings, support a weekly farmers market, improve commercial and manufacturing sites, provide incentives for potential new employers, construct sidewalks, make park improvements and rehabilitate homes of low- and moderate-income families.
People who live or have businesses in the zone are eligible for a variety of tax breaks if they meet other requirements.
Taking questions from council members, Cook said neither past obligations of the tax-increment financing district nor fellow property taxpayers are adversely affected by deductions such as the one requested by Boss Industries.
“You’re not actually losing anything because everything coming in is new money,” Cook said. “That new building will be paying taxes for as long as it’s standing — long after the 10-year tax credit expires.”
Cook said this community doesn’t offer incentives for every project or every company, and the number of new jobs created by this expansion was only part of the story. He said dividends can be measured in healthy corporate relationships and good will as well as dollars and cents.
“I believe any financial benefit sometimes takes a back seat to the message you’re sending about your willingness to be a partner in their success,” he said.
Boss Industries, founded in 1988 and headquartered in La Porte, manufactures more than 10 different models for many industries around the globe. It accounts for half of all PTO rotary screw compressor sales, according to its website.
About 50 employees work for the company, Attar said. Its 10-acre complex in the industrial park features 50,000 square feet of production and design space.