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Council hears pitch for tax break


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GREENFIELD — An incentive package that would help bring 200 new jobs to Greenfield is heading to the Greenfield Redevelopment Commission for a recommendation.

The Greenfield City Council Wednesday heard from officials from Elanco. The animal health division of Eli Lilly and Co. hopes to expand and is asking for a tax abatement from the city.

While the Greenfield City Council ultimately has authority over granting a 10-year tax abatement for Elanco’s proposed $14 million expansion, the government-appointed redevelopment commission will look over the proposal and make a favorable or unfavorable recommendation to the elected officials.

Skip Kuker, director of the Hancock Economic Development Council, said that’s per state statute. As tax abatements affect funding for the redevelopment commission, the commission looks over the proposal. For example, sometimes, a commission may have a bond that needs to be paid off, in which case the commission would be hesitant to agree to a tax break.

The Greenfield Redevelopment Commission, however, does not have outstanding debt.

The commission is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. June 26.

Elanco’s project calls for two new buildings to be added to the company’s Progress Park campus. An additional 200 administrative employees would be added by the first half of 2015.

The company is asking for a 10-year tax abatement on $10.5 million in real property, so taxes would be phased in over 10 years starting in 2013. That would result in a savings to the company of more than $300,000.

Ted McKinney, director of global corporate affairs for Elanco, said the Greenfield facility is one of several Elanco is considering, but it is the lead option.

He said when the company worked with Greenfield two years ago on tax abatements, Elanco officials thought an expansion would be in the works eventually.

“We anticipated four to five years down the road we’d need to expand, and in fact it came two years later, which is exciting,” McKinney said.

Elanco, a global research company, develops and markets products to improve animal health and production. There are about 2,400 employees worldwide.

City council members asked few questions Wednesday and thanked McKinney and other Elanco officials for coming.

“I’m just glad to hear you guys are doing well and expanding, and you want to grow here,” Councilman Jason Horning said.

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