A local auto parts manufacturer has purchased new plastics molding equipment and has promised to hire additional employees as part of a tax abatement agreement approved last night by the Monroe County Council.
The Bloomington-based TASUS Corporation will not have to pay $2.2 million in property tax over the next ten years as a part of a tax abatement agreement aimed at adding or retaining jobs in the county. TASUS says it is using the money to buy new machines to manufacture plastic parts for Toyota, Honda, Ford, BMW, Tesla and other car manufacturers worldwide.
“We went through a period of shrinking when the automotive industry, as well as most of the industries, were in the decline in the past few years, but we are on a growth trend again,” TASUS President Melanie Hart says.
According to Hart, since more car manufacturers are creating lighter cars, the high performance plastics her company makes are becoming more popular than heavier steel alternatives.
County Council President Julie Thomas says she supports the work TASUS does in the community but feels this abatement is not in the best interest of county taxpayers since the company already gets a tax break by operating in a Tax Increment Financing District (TIF), a specially defined area that gives the companies inside it a break on property tax for the first few years of development in order to boost economic activity.
“The money is in essence being withheld twice–once in the TIF and once in the abatement,” she says. “There are many places in this country where that is illegal, and I just think that it’s a bad policy.”
TASUS currently has 123 employees at its Monroe County facility. Hart says at least seven more will be added soon, with hopes to grow her staff even more in 2012.