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Tax abatement gives manufacturer good start

In recent years, the Harrison County Council has often seemed at odds when it came to property tax abatements. That’s because of some weighty concerns, especially whether the jobs provided by a company bring new people to the community who will demand more services than government can afford.
Last week, the council hardly hesitated in giving a tax break to Martinrea, the company that took over the bankrupt Oxford automotive plant in Corydon.
That’s in part because the workforce was already here; the difference Martinrea is expected to make is in the unemployment line.
Harrison Countians stand to gain if Martinrea is successful.
To have jobs, the workforce in any company must be committed to the bottom line: profits. That’s what a company needs to stay in business. As the profits go up, the workforce can expect to be rewarded with higher pay, better benefits.
Harrison County is smart to do whatever it can to help Martinrea get a good start.
So Martinrea will pay no property taxes on its $3 million investment in new equipment in the first year. After that, Martinrea will pay 10 percent the second year and an added 10 percent each year until the tax abatement expires in 10 years. Officials realize that during those 10 years, there have been jobs available when there might not have been.
And at a time when jobs are going overseas more and more frequently, the job market here can use all the help it can get.
Even though there may be some workers unhappy with a decrease in the hourly wage or the loss of other perks they had enjoyed under Oxford, at least they have a job. At least they have time to look for another one before hitting the unemployment lines.
We applaud the council’s actions and wish Martinrea continued success. And when the economy bounces back, we will encourage them to up those pay rates and restore the benefits that can be restored. Then everyone will be happy.