COLUMBIA — School Board member Darin Preis will vote yes to a 50 percent property tax abatement for a Columbia business, which would bring 135 new manufacturing jobs to Columbia and nearly $1.2 million over the next seven years to Columbia Public Schools. He will represent the School District at a Chapter 100 Review Panel on Aug. 18.
The School Board voted unanimously on Monday night to authorize Preis' vote.
If passed by a majority vote on the review panel, the abatement will mean that Dana Light Axle Products, LLC, a car parts manufacturing company, will be exempt from 50 percent of personal property taxes on manufacturing equipment that will be purchased if the business expands. A Chapter 100 tax exemption is meant to encourage the company to expand in Columbia and would bring in new tax revenue for local government bodies.
The tax incentive was critical for Dana Light Axle Products, LLC to choose its Columbia location to expand. The company's customers include Toyota, GM, Nissan and Ford. It is looking to expand its machine inventory in Columbia and increase its current workforce from 89 employees to 224.
Preis said the company has maintained that it will hire people locally.
During the meeting, Preis and School Board President James Whitt said Columbia Public Schools would try to work with the company to train new employees through the Career Center.
"They're very open to working with us and looking for opportunities for our students to really learn about modern manufacturing and looking for opportunities to support their workforce needs," Preis said.
Regional Economic Development, Inc., a nonprofit that looks to expand and grow business opportunities in Boone County, is handling the Chapter 100 incentives for the company.
"One of the most important parts of this deal, that we don't think about, is this is new technology," Dave Griggs, chair of the REDI incentives sub-committee, said prior to the meeting. "There are 13 Dana plants in the country, about five other ones could have this new technology, and if this new technology was not put in Columbia we would see job reduction in Columbia rather than maintaining those jobs, so this is really important."
Representatives from several government sectors in Boone County will vote on the Chapter 100 Review Panel. This includes representation from Daniel Boone Regional Library, Boone County government, the city of Columbia and Boone County Family Resources, as well as the School District. They all currently receive property tax from the company and will be affected by the abatement.
If the panel passes the proposal, the application will then be forwarded to the Boone County Commission for a vote.
If passed, this will be the third use of the Chapter 100 policy in Boone County. Previously, the program was used to bring ABC laboratories to the area. It was also used to help expand the Kraft Heinz Columbia plant.
In the case that the panel and commission approve the proposal, the following groups would receive additional taxes over the next seven years equaling approximately:
- $1.19 million for Columbia Public Schools,
- $81,580 for the city of Columbia,
- $61,500 for Boone County Library,
- $22,800 for Boone County Family Resources,
- $23,800 for Boone County,
- $9,900 for the Boone County road and bridge fund,
- $5,900 for the state of Missouri.
Supervising editor is Allison Colburn.