Goodnight: Chrysler Commitment To Kokomo Shown At Meeting

Kokomo’s mayor says he’s seeing signs beyond the repayment of back property taxes that may indicate Chrysler’s new leadership may view Howard County favorably.

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Kokomo's mayor believes the changing of meeting plans by a Chrysler exec may be a good sign for his city.

When Chrysler was restructured and eventually purchased by Italian automaker Fiat, it fell more than 19-million dollars behind on the property taxes it owes Howard County and was given six years to pay the money back.  The company now appears on track to pay the balance back well ahead of schedule, and Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says it’s just one sign Chrysler sees Howard County as a valuable business partner.  Speaking on WFIU’s “Ask The Mayor,” Goodnight says the appearance of a Chrysler executive at a recent meeting held by the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance speaks to the city’s importance to the company…

“The fact that Brian Harlow changed his schedule as Vice President of Powertrain [Operations] and did the Chrysler portion of the event and then literally went out the back door of Indiana University-Kokomo’s Havens Auditorium and went immediately to the airport to head over to Germany for a meeting, I think that shows a lot his commitment to the community,” Goodnight said.

Goodnight also says it’s his opinion that Chrysler need not pay back its tax debt in full in order to be eligible to receive economic development incentives, should the company ask for any in return for future investment.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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