PRINCETON — Gibson County Redevelopment Commission unanimously endorsed Toyota Indiana's personal property tax abatement request Monday for a new investment, finding the incentive won't adversely affect local taxing units.

Last month, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana Vice President of Administration Tim Hollander made the request to the Gibson County Council for personal property tax abatement on a $785 million investment to bring expanded automotive technology capabilities to the local plant.

Coupled with a $600 million investment announced in 2017 (not part of the abatement request), Toyota's total investment is a $1.3 billion project to assure the Gibson County plant has global, flexible manufacturing capabilities.

Hollander said the investment creates 550 jobs (approximately 150 jobs more than the 400 new jobs expected with the 2017 project) with the earning potential of up to $29 per hour.

The county council agreed in September to take the request under advisement for possible action at its October monthly meeting, scheduled Tuesday morning.

Hollander said that even with the abatement, the county would see no decrease in tax revenue in 2020 and would see more than $21 million in new tax revenue over the abatement period.

Toyota has paid more than $160 million in property taxes since the plant was built in 1997 and has made more than $37 million in donations in Indiana to 125 local organizations. The local plant had a $372 million payroll in 2018, he reported.

Hollander told the council last month that the plans are “the most important investment” to assure more vehicle manufacturing capability and flexibility over the long term.

Monday's resolution by the redevelopment commission confirms that the incentive would not adversely affect the commission's ability to make bond payments with the property tax revenue captured within the Toyota Tax Increment Finance District.

Mark Iunghuhn, a North Gibson school board meber who is a non-voting member of the redevelopment commission, said school officials have reviewed the proposal with tax consultants and determined it won't have a negative impact on the school district.

"It's a win-win situation," Gibson County Board of Commissioners President Steve Bottoms told the redevelopment board.

Gibson County Economic Development Corp. President/CEO Paul Waters said the GCEDC board also supports the proposal.

In 2017, TMMI announced plans to invest $600 million for retooling, new equipment and advanced technologies to make the plant more competitive and create 400 new jobs by the end of 2019.

The plant’s first vehicle production line assembled Toyota Tundra pickups, which are now manufactured in San Antonio, Texas. The Gibson County plant builds Toyota Sienna minivans, Highlander and Sequoia SUVs.

Since its groundbreaking in 1996, TMMI has invested $4.9 billion at the 4.3 million-square-feet manufacturing facility south of Princeton and directly employs more than 5,400 people.

According to economic impact calculations, TMMI’s presence in Indiana has led to the creation of 24,058 jobs in Indiana over the last 20 years.
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