MUNSTER | Following a recent public hearing with no remonstrators, the Munster Town Council approved a seven-year tax abatement for Carl Buddig & Co., the second lunch meat producer to move part of its operation from Illinois to the town.
In the first year, Buddig & Co. will have a 100 percent tax abatement. The amount of the abatement decreases each of the next six years, with the company paying increased amounts of taxes during those years.
One percent of the tax abatement’s value will be donated by Carl Buddig & Co. to the Munster Civic Foundation for public art.
Company owners recently signed a seven-year lease with Becknell Properties to occupy the former Dawn Foods site at 215 W. 45th St. The lease has two five-year options for renewal, and the tax abatement helps provide an incentive for the company’s planned investment in the property, said Clay Johnson, assistant Munster town manager.
Buddig has begun transforming the 65,000-square foot space into a warehousing and distribution center for its finished lunch meat products from its South Holland processing plant. The company’s $2.2 million in improvements include adding refrigeration, insulated panels, dock upgrades and warehousing IT systems, said Dan Wynn, Buddig CEO.
In March, the company will transfer 45 employees from its Illinois facility to the new Munster site and launch the warehousing and distribution operations.
“The 2015 to 2017 plan is to increase employment by approximately 10 percent per year,” Wynn said.
The warehouse/distribution site is within the Munster Economic Revitalization Zone. Businesses in this area can be granted tax abatements for improvements made to the spaces occupied, Johnson said.
“Currently the facility pays $85,087 in real estate taxes. We will look to capture Buddig’s personal property investment in the near future by making them a designated tax payer,” Johnson said, adding personal property tax dollars from a designated taxpayer go directly into the Munster Tax Increment Financing fund.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. also offered Carl Buddig & Co. up to $300,000 in tax breaks if the company employs as many people as promised.