By BOB SHRALUKA
It’s hardly a secret that labor shortages exist in many parts of the country. That’s a major reason why Decatur City Council has decided not to punish some local companies who have fallen short of the numbers they projected to obtain tax abatements.
In order for a company to gain a tax abatement, it must project expected gains in employee and financial numbers. Tax abatements are granted for five and/or 10 years for personal property and real estate expansions.
Indiana passed a law a few years ago that requires companies with tax abatements to annually file a CF-1 form, which shows how they have lived up to their projections. The forms are sent to the governing body which granted the tax abatements.
CF-1 forms from four firms were before Decatur City Council at its May 2 meeting and only one displayed the numbers it had projected.
That was Hoosier Pattern. The others – Gilpin Products, REV Group, and Lance Camper – all fell short, particularly on employee projections.
Adams County Economic Development Director Colton Bickel, who was in the audience, was asked for his opinion. “The struggle for employees is being seen everywhere,” he said. “It’s across the board.”
“It’s the current climate,” a REV official added.
Gilpin has also been affected by a labor shortage.
“I’ve been through tough times,” Councilman Craig Coshow said before moving to grant the three firms that were short another year to keep their abatements, then come back with new numbers.
Mayor Dan Rickord added a good point to the discussion: Tax abatements are on a sliding scale. So a company like Gilpin, which is eight years into one of its abatements, is only getting a small tax break by that time.