County OKs tax break for B&J Medical

April 7th, 2017

By Steve Garbacz | KPC News - The News Sun

A medical industry supplier is getting a tax break on new equipment that will help it add at least eight jobs.

Noble County Council members approved a nine-year tax abatement for B&J Medical, Kendallville, for a nearly $915,000 investment in new equipment for its plant on U.S. 6.

Plant manager Kerry Leitch told council members at their meeting Monday he expects the company will create more like 15 new positions, but he was being conservative with his estimates for the abatement request.

Taxes on the new manufacturing equipment will be phased in over the term until it expires, when the company will pay full property taxes. Tax abatements typically save companies about half on taxes, compared to what they otherwise would have paid.

Leitch said the jobs will have annual salaries around $35,000, but most employees typically can earn a couple thousand dollars extra each year due to overtime opportunities.

“I know for a fact most of the people are making more than — I’d say it’s in the upper $30,000s to low $40,000s,” Leitch said.

B&J Medical recently has added on to its building west of Kendallville. It received an abatement in February 2016 for a $2.9 million investment at the plant that produces items for the medical industry, notably plates and screws used to repair serious bone breaks and fractures.

Council members Tom Janes and Jerry Jansen both had positive things to say about the work done at the B&J Medical plant, calling the operating “amazing” and “a quality organization.”

The board approved the tax break on a 5-0 vote. Council President Mike Toles abstained due to a family member who works for the company, and Councilman Wayne Targgart was absent.