Board approves $18.9 million tax exemption for Wacker
The Raisin Township Board of Trustees approved an $18.9 million industrial facilities tax (IFT) exemption for Wacker Chemical following a public hearing on the subject on Monday, May 12.
Wacker representative Chris Thie, Senior Tax Manager for the company, and Tim Robinson, Operations Manager for Lenawee Now were on hand to present details on the investment.
“Basically, we’re upgrading our plant and lab equipment and adding new technology,” said Thie, who added that much of the equipment dated back to the 1960s when the Stauffer Chemical Company first began operations in the township.
“In the mid-1980s, Wacker took over and has operated continuously on the site since then,” said Thie. “We’ve continued to grow as the industry has changed and the economy has gone up and down.” He displayed some of the silicone products the company makes such as plastic baby bottles, Fe-breeze spray, and other items.
Wac-ker is the largest employer in Raisin Township and one of the largest in Lenawee County, and Thie said the company has grown to include 513 employees at present.
“Our goal is to secure long-term viability of the site and we’re reaching those goals I think,” Thie added. The company agrees to retain its present number of employees, and Thie said they like to “under promise and over deliver,” which they have historically done.
In 2012 the company received a $15.3 million IFT from Raisin, and an earlier $23 million in 2009 when the company made plans to relocate operations from its Duncan, South Carolina plant to its Raisin Township facility, which it later did.
“Without the previous abatement, I don’t think we would be here tonight talking about additional expansion,” Thie said.
Raisin Township Supervisor Jay Cavanaugh read from the application stating costs were listed at $15.7 million for machinery costs and $3.2 million for building improvements.
“They are making a considerable investment in their Raisin Township facility,” he said. Prior to the approval, Cavanaugh added that he believed providing the exemption also helped the township through permits, inspections and other activities through the building department. While not as direct as property tax, I believe it is beneficial for our township’s economy.”
The vote by the board was unanimous.