Plan commission considers placing Toyota Material Handling in TIF

Mike Wolanin | The Republic A sign marks the site where Toyota Material Handling’s new electric forklift plant expansion will be located at Toyota Material Handling North America in Columbus, Ind., Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

The Columbus Plan Commission unanimously approved a resolution to back changes the Columbus Redevelopment Commission is undertaking to include the site of a local company’s future 260,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in one of the city’s tax increment financing (TIF) districts.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission is in the process of extending the Central Economic Development Area TIF District to include the recently annexed and rezoned Toyota Material Handling expansion site on the north side of Deaver Road at I-65, next to their current facility.

City, state, and Toyota officials broke ground at the manufacturing site on May 29. The new facility would create 85 jobs at an at an average wage of $28.88 and retain the current 1,883 workers, Toyota representatives have said. The factory will focus on making electric forklifts, with the hope being that production will start in June 2026.

Whenever the central TIF is expanded, the redevelopment commission must amend their plan for the area, according to a report by planning staff. Indiana law requires that the plan commission review the redevelopment commission’s plans to ensure they’re consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.

“Redevelopment wants to capture the investment and essentially make some construction improvements that will further industrial development at that location, which is very consistent with the comprehensive plan, so staff reccomendation would be to approve this request,” city/county planning director Jeff Bergman said.

Director of Redevelopment Heather Pope said the request will have two more steps — next, the matter will go before the city council and then finally back to the redevelopment commission where members will vote on a confirmatory resolution solidifying the changes.