Final approval must come from Allen County Council

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – General Motors, one of the largest employers in Allen County with more than 3,300 employees, passed one hurdle Friday when the Allen County Commissioners approved the company’s request for a tax abatement. 

The Allen County Council will have the final say. The council’s next meeting is May 18. 

The abatement would last for 10 years and would remove the property tax responsibilities by 100%, according to Elissa McGauley, Allen County director of redevelopment.  

At the commissioner’s weekly legislative meeting Friday morning, McGauley said the last abatement approved in 2014 will “roll off” next year. 

This abatement is tied to investments GM says they will make amounting to $468 million for manufacturing equipment between 2025 and 2029, McGauley wrote in an email Friday afternoon.

The investment will be made “in support of the next generation of trucks assembled there,” McGauley said. It’s understood that the investment will retain 3,300 salaries with $209 million in salaries. 

GM likes to set the new tax abatement in motion before the existing one retires, she added. 

According to a sheet prepared by General Motors, located in the 1200 block of Lafayette Center Road in Roanoke, the plant currently employs 3,912 employees with 3,300 of those retained and pays up to nearly $250 million in salaries each year.  

Estimated tax savings for GM is about $29 million, according to figures sent by McGauley.

Since 1996, the General Motors complex has been part of an area designated as the General Motors Economic Development Area, an “allocation” area that has a special tax status.  

Commissioner Nelson Peters said the Southwest Fire District that services the GM plant voiced concerns that without tax revenue from GM it would become harder to provide emergency services. 

County Councilman Paul Lagemann said Friday that the fire district made about 100 runs last year. So far, GM has not wanted “to have a conversation” about reimbursing the fire district for the services they provide for free.  

Lagemann said he was not opposed to the tax abatement, which is similar to the one the Council approved this year for BF Goodrich. However, Lagemann said he just wants to make sure the fire department gets some relief in the process.

Refusing to approve the tax abatement would send a “horrible signal” to other industries looking at Allen County for business, Peters said.