LAGRANGE — After some back and forth between LaGrange County Councilman James Young and the owner of a local real estate company, LaGrange County Council agreed to give the real estate company a ten-year tax abatement on a plot of 120,000 square meters. the walk-in facility is currently under construction and will be leased to the local recreational vehicle manufacturer.
The new building is being constructed on a property north of Howe on 27 acres of undeveloped land located between the Cruiser RV factory and the Therma-Tru facility. The plant will be occupied by Cruiser RV and is expected to add approximately 60 new jobs to that company’s payroll.
Anujeet Sahni, the owner of ATJ Real Estate Holdings, told council members that although he applied for the tax abatement as the owner of the building, the tax benefits granted by the abatement will be passed on to Cruiser. RV through the rental contract with the company. Sahni said the building will become a new rolling plant for Cruiser RV.
ATJ is expected to spend approximately $4.5 million to construct the new 120,000 square foot facility. Sahni said this type of deal is common in the business world because it allows a company like Cruiser to avoid locking up funds for the construction of a new building and instead use that money to buy the material and equipment necessary for the functioning of this faculty.
The abatement would decrease in value over the ten years. It would provide ATJ, and eventually Cruiser RV, with a 100% property tax abatement in its first year. This benefit would then decrease in value each year after by ten percent per year.
Topeka Councilman Harold Gingerich pointed out that in just the third year of the reduction, this property would produce more property tax revenue than it currently does underdeveloped.
Board member James Young was openly skeptical of the proposal, questioning Sahni on how such an arrangement would provide any real tax benefits to Cruiser RV.
Council member Ryan Riegsecker presented a motion to approve the resolution, seconded by Charlie Ashcraft. The resolution passed by a 5-1 vote, with Young voting the only no.