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Beer brewer feuding with Franklin over incentives

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A disagreement about how much financial information a San Diego-based beer brewer must submit to the city of Franklin to receive financial incentives has postponed the company’s plan to establish operations in the city south of Indianapolis.

In April, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered TailGate Beer up to $1.85 million in performance-based tax credits and $100,000 in training grants based on the company's plan to create as many as 150 jobs over the next three years in a multi-million-dollar production, packaging and distribution facility.
 
Franklin and Johnson County Development Corp. officials are considering more than doubling that incentive package, but are demanding details of the company’s most recent fiscal statement.

TailGate officials said in April they hoped to be operating in Franklin by mid-summer, and told Franklin officials they are now concerned the move can’t be completed by its peak season, which coincides with the football season. Company officials were not available for comment Thursday morning.

TailGate executives, upset over Franklin officials' unwillingness to approve incentives, have billed the city nearly $107,000 for travel and accounting expenses as well as lost business. Franklin Mayor Fred Paris is adamant that the city owes Tailgate nothing, but city officials are keen to settle the feud and have Tailgate open its local plant.

“The city has moved as quickly as it can while still trying to be prudent,” said Craig Wells, Franklin Development Corp. CEO. “We would like more detailed financial information before we finalize our decision. So far, they’ve only sent us cursory financial information from their tax returns.”

TailGate owner Wesley Keegan, a 24-year-old who founded the company right after graduating from San Diego State University two years ago, told IBJ in April that Tailgate considered numerous sites in 12 states before deciding on Indiana for expansion.

Frankllin has worked to secure the former Klaisler Manufacturing building at 1800 Musicland Drive for Tailgate, and Wells said the 48,000-square-foot building could be ready for the beer brewer to move in within three months.
 

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