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6/2/2018 5:55:00 PM
Lippert to ask Goshen to continue abatement on up to $10 million in new equipment

Jordan Fouts, Elkhart Truth

GOSHEN — The city council will be asked to continue a tax abatement on up to $10 million in new manufacturing equipment for Lippert Components that members nearly nixed last year when the job numbers, on paper, appeared underwhelming.

Goshen City Council will review on Tuesday a compliance form submitted by LCI, which the company has provided every year since receiving the abatement in 2013. The latest form, which covers 2017, values the equipment at $7.88 million so far and shows that the company added 77 jobs that year.

The property tax phase-in is for a suite of new painting equipment, lathes and dust collectors worth up to $10 million and is meant to continue until 2024. The equipment was planned for installation in Lippert plants at 2703 College Ave., 1701 Century Drive and 2475 Kercher Road. 

As part of the agreement between the city and LCI, the company projected that the investment would result in 376 new jobs.

The council voted in June 2017 to find that the company was not in compliance with the terms of the tax phase-in, after LCI reported that it ended 2016 with 240 fewer employees than the 1,078 it started with at the three plants. It was a preliminary decision that council reversed in a split vote two weeks later, after company Controller Troy Wuthrich explained that the lower numbers at those locations were the result of moving production lines and employees around in response to changing needs as the RV industry grew faster than expected.

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