Industry seeks $1.5 million tax break

Article by Steve Garbacz of KPC Media

Company will ask for a second abatement later this spring

KENDALLVILLE — Flint & Walling is seeking a tax break as the company plans to add another $1.5 million in new equipment to its facilities.

It’s the first part of two major equipment buys the manufacturer is planning this spring, with a second tax abatement application expected in a month or two.

The Kendallville Economic Development Advisory Council reviewed the tax abatement request Monday and recommended a seven-year tax abatement. That recommendation will go to the Kendallville City Council, which would have to approve the tax break before it goes into effect.

Flint & Walling is planning to add $1,495,000 in CNC mills and lathes and motor-manufacturing, material-handling and inspection equipment.

Company officials had calculated the tax savings for a five-year or 10-year break, at $50,814 and $82,612. The seven-year abatement as recommended by the board will roughly save Flint & Walling $62,500 in taxes over the term.

The new equipment would help retain Flint & Walling’s 182 jobs and create 13 new positions, according to the abatement request. Those jobs would have an average salary of about $43,000.

If jobs are created at those wages, the new positions would generate about $19,000 in state income taxes and about $9,800 in county income taxes annually.

Flint & Walling’s Kenneth Olry said this round of purchases would be to update equipment at the main Oak Street location as well as add new machines for an upcoming project. Flint & Walling is also planning to buy equipment for its other location in the former Superior Essex building on Mitchell Street, but Olry said the two were being split since the Noble County Assessor would prefer the abatements for the separate properties be segregated.

“It’s an expansion as well as an upgrade,” Olry said.

Board member Jerry Steinbarger said the project is exactly the type of economic development the city wants to see, praising the company for creating jobs with a wage of more than $20 per hour.

“This is the type of abatement we’re looking for,” Steinbarger said. “If we’re adding 13 jobs at almost $21 per hour, that’s very positive.”

Mayor Suzanne Handshoe also voiced her support for the projects, reminding board members that Flint & Walling is Kendallville’s oldest manufacturer and the company is still investing in the city.

By the numbers

Flint & Walling is asking Kendallville for a tax break on new equipment the firm is planning to purchase this year.

Location: 95 N. Oak St.

Investment: $1,495,000

Jobs retained: 182

New jobs: 13

New job average wage: $42,976

Tax savings (estimate): $62,500