Lowe’s seeks $500K tax break from city on customer center

Home-improvement retail titan Lowe’s is seeking city tax incentives to help with its $20 million plan to create a massive customer service center on the northwest side that could create as many as 1,000 jobs by 2017.

Lowe’s announced in July that it intended to purchase, renovate and equip an office building in Intech Park that would serve as the center. Set to being operational in 2015, the complex and its employees would support Internet sales, delivery services and repair services for Lowe’s customers across the nation.

The 1,000 jobs would pay an average hourly wage of $15.82, according to information provided to Indianapolis officials.

The company is asking the Metropolitan Development Commission for two 10-year property tax abatements on a total of $10 million of its investment, which would save the company roughly $506,000 in taxes over the abatement period.

The company’s request for a personal property tax abatement would cover $5 million in information technology equipment to be used in the center.

Over the 10-year abatement, Lowe’s would save $277,203, or 59.8 percent of its taxes. It still would pay $186,126 of its tax bill, and then an estimated $39,714 annually in personal property taxes after the abatement expired.

The company’s request for a real property tax abatement would cover $5 million in building improvements for the complex.

Over the 10-year abatement, Lowe’s would save $229,348, or 49.5 percent of its taxes. It still would pay $233,981 of its tax bill, and then an estimated $46,333 annually in real property taxes on the improvements after the abatement expired.

The remaining $10 million in costs from Lowe’s anticipated $20 million investment would not qualify for tax abatement, according to the city.

MDC staff has recommended approving the abatements.

“Staff believes this project is significant for Pike Township in terms of new taxes and potential job creation and retention” and “will lead to continued future investment in Marion County,” according to its report to the MDC.

The preliminary abatement requests from Lowe’s are set to be heard at the MDC meeting at 1 p.m. Wednesday. If approved, they would be scheduled for public hearings and final approval at its Sept. 17 meeting.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. also has offered Lowe’s up to $5.5 million in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans.

Located in the southwest quadrant of West 71st Street and Interstate 465, the office building and three adjacent acres already have been purchased by Lowe’s for about $9 million. The building previously housed Eli Lilly and Co.’s information technology department from 2003 to 2013.

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