Government, Manufacturing, and Real Estate

Thierica receives property-tax break from city

City is figuring out the tax amount owed by Benteler.

June 21, 2013
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City commissioners approved a 12-year industrial tax abatement last week for Thierica Inc., a firm that molds and decorates dashboard display components for the automotive and aerospace industries. 

Company officials are investing $4.5 million into new machinery and equipment and to build a 9,380-square-foot addition to its plant at 900 Clancy Ave. NE to meet new work orders for their products. 

Thierica plans to hire 91 employees from the investment. Hourly wages will range from $12 to $47, and all will get benefits. Another 59 jobs will be retained. 

The city will receive $29,584 in new income-tax revenue each year from the expansion.

The company, which was founded in 1946, will have $28,283 of its property-tax bill exempted each year for each of those dozen years. The city’s annual share of those abated tax dollars is $9,419.

“Thierica is also seeking a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to assist with job training for new employees. The industrial facilities tax exemption would serve as the local match for the state’s investment,” said Kara Wood, city economic development director.

The city’s Planning Commission and zoning board approved the firm’s expansion plan, and the Belknap Neighborhood Association also expressed support for the company’s project. 

On another manufacturing note, Wood is calculating how much property-tax revenue Benteler Automotive owes the city now that the company will close its plant at 320 Hall St. SW early next year. 

City commissioners awarded the auto-parts maker a property-tax abatement last fall when company officials announced they would be investing $7.3 million into new machinery and equipment at the site to increase production capabilities in the automotive and military defense industries. 

That wasn’t the only incentive the commission gave Benteler.

Mayor George Heartwell told the Business Journal last week that the city awarded Benteler four tax abatements, a nearly tax-free Renaissance Zone designation and a brownfield for the jobs the firm pledged to create from those incentives. The incentives were awarded from 2000 to 2012. 

The company employs about 250 workers at its Grand Rapids site, and the city’s larger revenue loss is likely to come from the income tax those employees paid to the city. 

The Hall Street plant is the only one Benteler has in the city. 

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