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4/19/2012 9:14:00 AM
Garrett grants tax break for Mossberg Industries expansion

Sue Carpenter, Star

GARRETT — The Garrett Common Council Tuesday unanimously approved a tax phase-in for a longtime city industry.

Mossberg Industries was granted a tax abatement on new equipment and building improvements.

Greg Baker represented Mossberg Industries at Tuesday’s public hearing. Michael Khorsid of Fort Wayne purchased the company in November 2011.

JDBM LLC, a real estate holding company from Fort Wayne, asked for a real estate abatement, while Mossberg Industries asked for a tax break for new equipment. The holding company also owns XY Tool & Die in LaOtto.

At a meeting in March, Baker told the council the Garrett site handles 80 percent of Mossberg’s operation, with the balance in Ontario, Calif. Products include injection plastic molding, zip-lock ties and medical packaging, among others. Plans call for expanding product offerings.

Baker reported the cost of the new machinery at $250,000 and real estate improvements at $1.9 million.

While soliciting bids for the Garrett facility, samples showed the soil has “the consistency of chocolate pudding,” Baker said Tuesday. The base improvements added a substantial investment of $500,000-750,000.

Using the city’s point system for tax abatements, the company would qualify for a four-year phase-in for equipment and five years for real estate. Baker asked that the city offer a 10 year phase-in for the real estate, based on the increased cost for real estate improvements.

At the March meeting, Baker also said improvements conservatively could net five new full-time jobs in the next year. Fifty current jobs would be retained. Estimated wages for the workers are from $12.63 to 17.10 per hour, based on fringe benefits. Since then, two employees have been hired.

The tax abatement would cover property improvements and new equipment only, Baker explained. The company currently pays $37,000 in property taxes annually.

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