Officials in Kokomo and Howard County are in a tough spot. The “new” Chrysler created after its bankruptcy
sale to Fiat contends it‘s no longer on the hook for $12.9 million it owes various local taxing bodies this year and
$12.3 million it will owe next year.
The taxes are on equipment in the factories its runs in Kokomo. The new company
is paying its real estate taxes. Yet, it also is asking that the assessed value of two plants in Kokomo be cut roughly in
half, to $55 million.
Chrysler officials have stopped corresponding with local officials, according to the Kokomo
Tribune, which is tracking the unfolding mess.
Huge money is at stake for the county. Kokomo would be a Chrysler colony were it not for also hosting a sizeable Delphi
electronics complex, which has had its own struggles. Imagine if dozens of Eli Lillys unloaded tax obligations all at once
This comes at a delicate time for Howard County. Fiat is scrutinizing Chrysler operations to find
places to cut costs. So the last thing local officials want to do is make the new owners mad.
Yet, government needs
If you were the officials, what would you do?