Signficantly smaller tax abatement approved for Louis Dreyfus

Kosciusko County Council President Mike Long discusses tax a batement with council member Joni Truex Thursday night at the county courthouse. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — For the second time in a row in recent years, Kosciusko County Council approved a slimmed-down request for tax abatement for Louis Dreyfus Co.

The soybean processing firm — among the biggest in North America — is in the middle of a $59 million expansion at its plant in Claypool and requested abatement for real property for ten years and personal property for five years.

Council previously expressed concern that the company had already purchased some of the equipment before approval was granted.

Dreyfus sought waivers on the purchased property when it submitted its request months ago.

A county committee recommended two years for real estate and two years for personal property.

On Thursday night, council considered several variations before agreeing on a deal that provides five years of abatement for real property and three years for personal property.

Company attorney Steve Snyder was asked about the compromise afterward.

“The county’s like anybody else. They’re looking to maintain revenue,” Snyder said. “So I understand that they’re very carefully considering this. I think that was probably a good compromise.”

Council’s final vote was 5-1 in favor, with Tony Ciriello opposing it.

Ciriello expressed dissatisfaction over the waiver request.

Council President Mike Long said he thinks the council has embraced a different philosophy toward tax abatement, saying he wants to make sure the county can capture enough money in the future from related tax revenues to ensure enough money is available for  improvements to roads and utility issues around Claypool.

Snyder said the company’s most recent other request sought a deal for ten and five years and ultimately received seven and three for real property and personal property, respectively.