Tax abatement approved for Toyota’s $3 million investment in Columbus

Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing has received a tax abatement on an estimated $3 million in personal property that will enhance development, design and testing for future forklift models.

The Columbus City Council voted Tuesday to approve the 10-year abatement, which involves new research and development equipment to test new forklift product designs to be installed at the Toyota complex, 5555 Inwood Drive, on the city’s southwest side.

Tony Miller, senior vice president at TIEM, told council members the abatement would also involve replacing and modernizing equipment for the current front protector assembly line.

The improvements at the plant will include adding five new engineering positions, with total estimated salaries of $375,000, each position paying about $75,000, the company’s application stated.

Toyota employs 1,163 people, the application states, 1,056 of which are TIEM employees and 107 that are employed by an outside firm used for staffing needs.

The company has received four other tax abatements since 2008, including personal property expansions in 2008 and 2013, and real property and personal property expansions in 2014 and 2015.

Councilman Tim Shuffett complimented the company on its commitment to meeting the job incentives promised in the abatement applications throughout the years and providing good wages to its employees.

A year ago, TIEM announced about $16 million worth of new construction and remodeling at its Woodside Industrial Park location, one of at least a dozen expansions since the plant opened in 1990.

The latest building expansion, set for completion in September, establishes a company headquarters for Toyota Material Handling North America and added a new cafeteria for workers, new storm shelters in case of severe weather, more locker room space for employees and an expansion of the company’s medical center.

A minimum of seven additional design engineers are being hired as part of that expansion, adding $525,000 to the company’s payroll, at an average salary of $75,000. The company received a 10-year tax abatement for the expansion in August 2015.

Toyota footprint in Columbus

Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing Inc. builds three- and four-wheel forklifts and other equipment.

Its campus has grown from 250,000 square feet when it opened in 1990 to more than a million square feet with the latest building expansion announced last year, Toyota officials said.

The Toyota footprint in Columbus includes:

TIEM — Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, the manufacturing arm of the material-handling business.

TMHU — Toyota Material Handling USA, Inc., sales, marketing and distribution arm of the material-handling business.

TINA — Toyota Industries North America, Inc. an American holding company providing shared professional services to all North American entities of Toyota Industries Corp, including information technology, accounting/finance, tax, internal audit, legal and human resources.

TIPA — Toyota Industries Personnel Service of America, a personnel placement service.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.