Council OKs tax break

A $12 million personal property tax abatement granted to Cummins Inc. will provide further support for a joint venture between the Columbus-based engine maker and emissions control manufacturer Faurecia.

The Columbus City Council unanimously approved the tax abatement at its final meeting of the year on Tuesday.

Cummins will use the abatement to purchase and install new manufacturing equipment for the $30 million plant Faurecia is building at the former Walesboro Airport property.

In May, the city council approved a 10-year tax abatement for Faurecia, which produces exhaust systems for automakers General Motors, Ford and Chrysler and also is a Cummins supplier. At the time, Faurecia said it would invest an additional $61 million in equipment for the new 400,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, resulting in 131 new jobs.

The plant will include equipment that can dispose of solid or hazardous waste, as well as equipment that can be used for research and development, logistical distribution and information technology. Cummins is purchasing that equipment for Faurecia as part of a joint emissions-control project between the manufacturers.

The latest tax abatement would not result in any new jobs for Cummins, said Catina Furnish, the company’s real estate director. The equipment will be installed in January or February.

The seven-member council also approved a $6.6 million tax abatement for Rightway Fasteners, located in the Woodside Industrial Park. Rightway plans to purchase new equipment for its warehouse, including a new heater and three machines.

The abatement would help the company add five new jobs to the local workforce, said Ron Miller, a Rightway representative.

Indianapolis-based developer Herman & Kittle was approved for a $25 million bond inducement for development on the former Golden Foundry site.

Herman & Kittle is asking the city to sell $25 million in economic development revenue bonds as reimbursement for expenses related to building a new apartment complex at 1616 10th St.

The complex, which would be known as Ashford Park, would have 209 units, of which 40 percent would be set aside for low-income residents.

The remaining units would be available at the market rate.

The facility would offer carports, garages and parking complexes.

The bonds would be issued to private investors, who would assume the financial risk if the project fails.

The council passed the inducement, but that does not obligate the city to immediately issue the bonds, city attorney Jeff Logston told council members.

As a next step, Herman & Kittle will take the resolution before the city’s economic development commission.

The council could officially approve the sale of the bonds sometime next year.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.