PRINCETON — Gibson County Council members Tuesday unanimously approved a six-year personal property tax abatement on Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana's planned $785 million equipment investment for the local plant.

The tax phase-in incentive has no impact on local real estate property taxes paid by the company for the total $1.3 billion expansion/upgrades to the plant.

The $785 million in new equipment expands automotive technology capabilities for the local plant, something that Gibson County Economic Development Corporation President/CEO said understands will transform the local plant into a global facility, assuring productivity "for 30 to maybe 50, even up to 100 years."

TMMI Vice President of Administration Tim Hollander said the latest investment creates 550 jobs with the earning potential of up to $29 per hour.

Hollander said Monday night that the county would see more than $21 million in new tax revenue over the abatement period.

Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana President/CEO Greg Wathen said Gibson County's annual gross domestic product is about $2.9 billion, and the manufacturing sector accounts for $1.5 billion of that total. Toyota's presence is a major factor in that productivity, he said.

Gibson County Board of Commissioners President Steve Bottoms said the project is a win for the county. Gibson County Assessor Kim Minkler and North Gibson School Corp. Supt. Brian Harmon said they've reviewed the proposed abatement incentives and see no negative impact.

Toyota initially requested a 10-year abatement but amended the request to a six-year period, which dovetails with the expiration of the Toyota Tax Increment Finance District.

County Councilman Jeremy Overton and other commissioners said they want the Gibson County Redevelopment Commission to commission a comprehensive study of the changes in the county's tax base in the years following the expiration of the Toyota (Patoka-Union Township) TIF district.
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