Source: Sherman Publications

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70 new factory jobs

by Andrea Beaudoin

October 02, 2013

Magneti Marelli, an Italian automotive supplier, was looking at three sites in southeast Michigan to locate a new factory.

Their choice: Independence Township.

The company, with $6 million to $7 million set aside for the new plant, is expected to hire about 70 people by the end of the year.

"These people need someplace to shop, get laundry done and eat there is a study that shows with the addition of that many jobs, about 15 or 16 people will buy homes here," said Independence Township Supervisor Pat Kittle.

The Township Board approved special tax incentives for the company to close the deal.

Independence Township was collecting $127,496 a year in taxes for the empty building. Now the tax revenue will be $211,000 a year. Kittle said that would have been closer to $179,000 if the company received the tax abatement before completing improvements at the new location.

"It's a $30,000 tax cut not 50 percent," said Kittle. "Tax abatements can be larger if they had built a building and not moved into an existing building. However, we thought a company coming in bringing 80 good paying jobs was worth breaking tradition and allowing abatement to go through estimated payroll of 80 employees and millions of dollars in payroll."

Magneti Marelli wanted a new location close to North American headquarters in Auburn Hills. The plant will be the company's first facility in North America to manufacture exhaust systems and provide manufacturing support for purchasing, quality, human resources and finance. The International company has facilities in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, Mexico. The local plant will be its fourth in the United States.

Kittle said the 150,000-square-foot building 5600 Bow Pointe was vacant when they were approached by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in regards to the European auto supplier search for a new location. To qualify for the tax abatement, the company had to apply and complete a process including identifying assets, equipment in the building, and building upgrades.

Kittle said Magneti Marelli moved into an existing building, so it qualifies for an eight year tax abatement--- which can be expanded with certain provisions. Other companies can also seek similar tax abatements for doing business in the township.