Commissioners consent to abatements for R&T Woodside, a company representing Kings Hawaiian

An artist's rendition of a proposed food and beverage production facility planned for Edinburgh. Photo provided

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The Bartholomew County Council will soon consider whether to grant tax abatements to a company that is planning to invest a little under $200 million to create a new food manufacturing plant near Edinburgh.

The Bartholomew County Commissioners voted Monday to consent to real and personal property tax abatements for R & T Woodside, LLC, which submitted the request on behalf of King’s Hawaiian.

According to Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp. President Jason Hester, the request is now headed to county council, which has final say over the matter.

The council will consider the proposed tax abatements when they meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in chambers in the county’s governmental office building.

King’s Hawaiian is looking to build its new manufacturing facility at 11900 N. County Road 200W in German Township, just east of Indiana Premium Outlets in Edinburgh.

Joe Leonardo, SVP, Chief Operations Officer at King’s Hawaiian, said in a previous interview that the initial plant will be King’s Hawaiian. He added that they’ve acquired enough land to do other things with the site as well such as expanding the footprint of King’s Hawaiian or bringing another brand to the area but these are just possibilities rather than concrete plans.

Hester told the commissioners that the company plans to invest up to $180 million for the initial project, which is expected to create 147 new jobs with an average wage of $29.94 per hour.

While King’s Hawaiian will be spending about $90 million for machinery and equipment, Hester said in a previous interview that only about $85 million will be eligible under the 10-year tax abatement request. However, the company will invest another $80 to $90 million to purchase 88 acres of land and construct the buildings. All of those improvements are eligible for tax abatement, he said.

King’s Hawaiian is asking for a standard phase-in over 10 years. If approved, the amount of property taxes on real and personal property will gradually increase every year until the abatement period ends.

Hester said that the taxes being paid on the property before the abatement will continue to be paid. Only increased property taxes resulting from development are subject to a tax abatement.

“The tax today on the property generates just under $2,200 a year,” he said. “With this tax phase-in because of the sizable investment we expect the company will have paid $1.8 million over 10 years in real property tax, plus another $2.2 million in property tax.”

During that same time, the company is expected to save approximately $1.35 million in real property taxes and $3.4 million in personal property taxes due to the proposed abatement.

After the abatement period ends, it’s estimated that they would pay about $316,000 per year in real property taxes and $394,000 per year in personal property taxes, Hester said.

“I’m trying to find a bad side to this deal, because I’m not seeing it,” said Commissioner Tony London.