Elkhart's Welch Packaging seeks tax break for $16.54 million expansion which create 118 jobs

Monday, Mar 16, 2015

Elkhart corrugated box maker Welch Packaging is mulling a $16.54 million expansion here that would create 118 new jobs within three years.

The new posts would pay $17.40 an hour, on average, or $36,200 a year, according to paperwork filed with the city of Elkhart seeking a property tax break on the plans. The vast majority, 98, are production posts, which would pay $15.04 an hour, or $31,292 a year.

The Elkhart City Council is to take up the tax abatement request at its regular meeting Monday, March 16. For purposes of the tax break request, Welch Packaging is considering expanding at its sites at 1020 Herman Street and 1130 Herman Street in an industrial zone in eastern Elkhart, where it currently employs 203.

The company, though, is considering other sites as well, according to a letter from Mayor Dick Moore asking the council to approve the abatement request. Welch Packaging is headquartered in Elkhart, but also has operations elsewhere in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio.


Welch Packaging, which makes corrugated packaging, boxes and other industrial products, has experienced steady growth of late.

In May 2014, it acquired Go Packaging LLC in Lombard, Ill., and in March 2014 it bought Marion-based Indiana Corrugated. In November 2013, officials announced the acquisition of Nova Packaging, also in Marion.

As of last June, Welch Packaging employed 600 in all, according to earlier Elkhart Truth reporting, 200 of them in Elkhart.

The latest proposed expansion calls for $4.5 million in building expansion and $12.035 million more in new equipment. The 118 new jobs would be created by April 2018, with 71 of them to be added this year and 28 in 2016.

The tax break, if approved, would save the company an estimated $870,032 in property taxes over five years. The company would still be liable for an estimated $527,068 in taxes. The new jobs would generate an extra $64,060 per year in local income taxes, according to Moore.

The Elkhart City Council on Monday will consider a request to deem the proposed expansion area an economic revitalization area. If they do so, that would pave the way for consideration on April 6 of a formal resolution approving the tax abatement.


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