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Tax breaks for 2 businesses on council agenda

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The Columbus City Council will consider tax breaks for two businesses at its Tuesday meeting.

Council members are scheduled to consider tax abatements for Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing Inc. and Tipton Office Park Inc.

A tax abatement is an incentive that reduces the amount of property taxes a company pays on real property such as land or personal property such as equipment.

The company will pay no property taxes on its improvements in the first year, and taxes will be phased in during the life of the abatement, normally 10 years.

TIEM officials said the company plans to retool its plant for future product models and for production of sub-assemblies for the South American market, according to the company’s abatement application.

The company has had 11 tax abatements since 1988, according to the proposal.

The abatement will help the company keep 717 jobs in Columbus, with total salaries of $36.6 million. The company also has 180 temporary employees.

The costs and exact salaries are confidential under state law.

Last year, the Toyota Material Handling USA announced it was moving its North American headquarters from Irvine, Calif., to Columbus. Construction began in December of a 21,400-square-foot office expansion at the company’s Walesboro plant, 5555 Inwood Drive.

The expansion will be used primarily for the 70 sales positions from the Irvine plant, according to the application.

The company announced last fall that the Columbus plant would be used as a model for Toyota Industries Corp., a new forklift maker in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Columbus plant was the first Toyota forklift manufacturing plant built outside Japan.

The council also will reconsider a tax abatement for property owners Tipton Park Offices and their tenant, Franciscan St. Francis Health, for a doctor’s office at 123 Second St., in downtown Columbus.

The abatement request was tabled at the Feb. 5 council meeting so both sides could review documents on the history of the property.

The location is the former Goodyear Columbus Tire store, which closed in 2000. For about a year and a half the building was used as temporary construction offices by Buckingham Construction Corp. for the work at The Cole apartments.

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