Tri-Aerospace asked the Terre Haute city council for an eight year property tax abatement on a new piece of equipment. Jeff Lewellyn, an attorney for the company, spoke at the March 14 city council meeting. Councilman George Azar took issue with the company asking for the ten-year grant. He recommended granting an 8-year abatement. Azar's amendment was defeated 4-3 vote.
The guidelines the city uses allowed the company to apply for an eight-year abatement. Azar expressed concern that other companies who qualified for an eight-year abatement under the guidelines would come to the council asking for a ten-year break from taxes.
“At a certain point of time, we have to make a decision to use the guidelines,” he commented..
Tri-Aerospace, which applied for a ten-year property tax abatement last year, wanted to combine the request the requests. Budget issues prevented. “Small businesses don't do things in large chunks,” said Llewelyn
Other members of the council favored giving the company the full ten-ear abatement. The equipment upgrade would bring six new jobs to the area, and it would have a life span of twenty years. The tax revenue increase would exceed the value of the taxes waived by the eight-year or ten-year abatement.
Azar's proposed amendment received support from Council President Norman Loudermilk. Council members who supported the measure pointed to the $61,000 per year jobs. Chalos added that the city was allowed to vary from the guidelines.
Councilman John Mulligan stated that residents often ask the council why they do not bring more higher paying jobs to Terre Haute. He said that an opportunity to create new jobs was before them.