Indiana’s Elkhart County is moving ahead with plans to grant tax abatements for firms looking to expand and add new jobs in the county, including RV suppliers Atwood Mobile Products and Jami Inc.
According to a report by WSBT-TV, South Bend, the county granted property tax cuts to Jami and also tentatively agreed to do the same for Atwood.
Atwood is planning to bring in a total of 94 new jobs over the next two years at its Elkhart facility.
“What we would like to do is use the tax abatement to bring in equipment to help support expansion in the Elkhart area in two areas – in hardware, and another one, window production,” explained Atwood president Tim Stephens. “We’re having to close a factory in West Union, Iowa, to accommodate this unfortunately.”
The company said while they are not creating an incredibly large number of new jobs, it adds to the overall efforts in the county to get the economy back on track.
“We’re hoping we’ve hit the bottom and things are turning around again,” Stephens said. “It’s important to remember it’s a depressed market. We’re down 60% in sales and any new jobs we bring in are really going to multiply as the market comes back, and it will do it fairly quickly.”
Jami also makes RV components at its plant in Middlebury. The county has approved a tax abatement request for expansion.
“They would retain over 140 jobs and then add an additional 85 jobs over the next two years,” said Dorinda Heiden-Guss of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County. “It would be a consolidation project where they’re closing a facility in Texas.”
Those 85 new jobs at Jami will come in the first two years. The company hopes to add 35 more in the future.