Photo provided The Toyota Material Handling entrance is shown.
Photo provided The Toyota Material Handling entrance is shown.
Columbus City Council has approved real and personal property tax abatement requests for a local employer planning to build a 260,000 square-foot manufacturing facility.

Toyota Material Handling’s $96 million project, dubbed “Project Golden Eagle,” will focus on the production of electric forklifts at the new facility, with the start of production in June 2026, according to Toyota’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Strategic Planning Tony Miller.

The council voted 7-0 to approve a confirmatory resolution designating 2914 Deaver Road and two adjoining parcels to the north, with I-65 and County Road 225W to the west, as an Economic Revitalization Area (ERA).

This qualified the company for a 10-year real property tax abatement on the $51,884,315 cost for construction of the facility and a 10-year personal property tax abatement on the $44,215,685 cost of the installation of new equipment.

The vote approving the abatements themselves was 7-0 as well.

Toyota Material Handling officials said the project will lead to the retention of 1,883 jobs and the addition of 85 permanent jobs at an expected average wage of $28.88/hour.

Director of Community Development Robin Hilber said the abatements will save Toyota about $17 million, but they will still pay “almost $9 million” on the property over the next 10 years.

Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp. President Jason Hester noted Toyota will still be paying property taxes on their existing campus.

Council President Frank Miller said he has had heard from some people that, through the abatements, the council is “taking away their tax dollars,” which he refuted.

“These are taxes that have not been collected, so yes, they are saving some tax dollars because of their investment that the city wants that is going to (allow for) more employment,” Miller said. “But these are almost $9 million of brand new tax dollars that would not happen without this extension.”

Council Member Josh Burnett, who sits on the Incentive Review Committee that looks over abatement requests before they come before the council, said the committee gave the abatements a favorable recommendation.

City council members on April 2 approved the second reading of two ordinances that annex and rezone property where the new facility will be. At that time, council also approved the accompanying fiscal plan, which indicated that there will be little or no additional cost as a result of the annexation.

Toyota Material Handling asked the city to annex 70.53 acres and rezone 65 acres directly north of its current facility. The annexation encompasses an extra 5 acres to satisfy Indiana law, which requires the annexation of adjacent right-of-ways.

The rezoning changes the 65 acres from a classification of Agricultural: Preferred to Industrial: General, and included five commitments generally dealing with road improvements and buffering between the site and adjacent property owners.

“We appreciate your investment,” Council Member Tom Dell said to Toyota representatives. “We appreciate your new investment and we hope that you come back with more investments.”

Hilber said that when Toyota asked for their first tax abatement from the city in 1988 they only had 150 employees.
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