Commissioners transfer and grant tax breaks
City commissioners approved the transfer of two industrial tax exemptions to a recently created joint venture that has much of its roots in Grand Rapids.
The city ratified two separate abatements for International Tooling Solutions, 731 Broadway Ave. NW, in 2004 and 2006. The 2006 certificate was issued for a real-property investment of $220,000, while the 2004 certificate was issued for a personal-property investment of $600,000.
But in May, Worthington Industries, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, announced that its automotive body panels subsidiary, The Gerstenslager Co., entered into a 50-50 joint venture with ITS and formed a new entity called ArtiFlex Manufacturing LLC. Commissioners transferred the ITS exemption certificates to ArtiFlex last week.
“ITS believes that its membership in and contribution to ArtiFlex will enable greater strategic growth, including better prospects for increased employment and business at the Grand Rapids facilities,” said Kara Wood, city economic development director.
ArtiFlex has five locations including the two ITS facilities that are here, which have 125 employees. The tax benefits for the personal-property investment continue through 2016, while the tax breaks for the real-property investment last through 2019.
“They will continue operations and maintain employment,” said Wood.
Commissioners also established an industrial district and approved a tax exemption last week for eAgile Inc. at 1100 Hynes Ave. SW. EAgile, a high-tech firm that identifies, tracks, records and stores data, plans to invest $179,500 into real property and $4.6 million into personal property over the next two years. The firm, which has customers in 40 countries, expects to add seven employees over that period to its current staff of 13. The exemption is good for 12 years and will save eAgile roughly $30,000 a year in state and city tax payments.
Commissioners also approved an exemption for Grand Rapids Label Co. at 2351 Oak Industrial Drive NE. The firm, which serves the auto, industrial, consumer and food sectors, will invest $1.8 million into new equipment and will add 10 full-time positions over the next two years to its current staff of 59. The tax abatement is for a dozen years and is expected to lower GRL’s tax payments to the state and the city by $11,000 for each of those years.
“Grand Rapids Label is diversifying into the consumer and food sectors. This project is important to the company,” said Wood.
“It’s always exciting to see businesses expanding and investing,” said Commissioner James White.