The company is back again with its hand out and the City is approving yet more give-aways to the company after it recalled a very small workforce. Yes, for creating a measly 250 jobs, the company will get millions more in tax abatements even though it defrauded the taxpayers out of tens of millions of tax dollars by failing to meet its earlier job promises. The IBJ's Scott Olson explains the insanity of the Ballard administration's taxing policies:
The company received $18 million in tax breaks from the city in the past decade, but agreed to repay $5 million in early 2010 for failing to retain more than 1,800 jobs at the plant. The huge east-side facility employed as many as 1,650 workers in 2005, but began mass layoffs amid the recession as the auto market tanked.
Still, the city is set to preliminarily approve another tax abatement because Navistar acted in “good faith” when recognizing that it fell short of meeting job commitments, said John Bartholomew, spokesman for the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development.
The Metropolitan Development Commission approved Navistar’s abatement request at its Wednesday meeting. Final approval could be granted July 20.
“They weren’t trying to fight us; that worked in their favor, so they’ve got a clean slate now,” Bartholomew said of Navistar. “This hopefully will prevent a huge industrial site from going off the tax rolls. This is a great opportunity to bring in new jobs.”
Joanne Sanders, Democrat minority leader of the City-County Council, said she is pleased the city is helping to save jobs but thinks it should have collected more from Navistar for failing to meet the requirements of the first tax abatement.
"To say they are starting with a clean slate is disingenuous," she said. The real clawback would have been close to $20 million."
Navistar has recalled 150 workers who were laid off when Indianapolis Casting Corp. stopped production in late 2010. Long-term plans include hiring 100 more employees by 2013 and investing $19 million in technology and supporting equipment.
UPDATE: Pat Andrews has uncovered the fact that the MDC also just reactivated two dormant TIF districts, the Dow Elanco TIF at 86th & Zionsville Road and the Naval Air Warfare Center in Warren Township.