VALPARAISO | Failure to file its tax abatement forms with Porter County in time cost Indiana Beverage $265,926 this year.
To prevent the company, formerly known as North Coast Distributing, from losing its tax abatement entirely, the City Council on Monday approved a resolution granting a waiver of noncompliance. The resolution means the company will pay the full property tax this year but will be able to start its tax abatement in 2014.
Economic Development Director Matt Murphy told the council the situation was the same as that experienced by UGN a couple of years ago. Murphy said the forms were sent to Indiana Beverage's former location on Silhavy Road. The forms arrived at the company's Barley Road site in time to file before the deadline, but the company failed to do so.
Under the 10-year abatement, Indiana Beverage was to have all its property taxes abated in the first year. After the oversight was discovered, the only way the company could have avoided paying any taxes this year would be for the city and all the other taxing entities to refund the money already levied by the county.
Financial consultant Dan Botich, of Cender and Co., said the city would have lost about $117,000, and the schools would have lost about $92,000. Instead, the company agreed to pay the first year's taxes in full, and the city agreed to give Indiana Beverage permission to start the abatement next year.
Councilman Joey Larr asked, because this is the second time it has occurred, if the city could have done anything to prevent the oversight. Botich said it is the company's responsibility to file the forms, but some communities send out a notice with the proper forms in January to all those receiving abatements.
Monday's resolution makes it clear a second waiver will not be granted if the company fails to file the forms next year. No one from Indiana Beverage was at the meeting.