Commission tables tax abatement for Hyundai

Published 6:43 pm Monday, October 14, 2013

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Commission voted to table a 10-year ad valorem tax abatement request from Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) for $2.4 million in new tooling and equipment to be operated at Daehan Solution Alabama LLC in Lowndes County.

Michael Dalton of HMMA appeared before the commission at its regular meeting Monday to request the abatement of ad valorem taxes, except for education, for the equipment for which the commission already granted an abatement to Daehan.

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Dalton explained that HMMA would receive ownership of the equipment in November as a security measure. He said in the event the equipment were ever to be seized, “It would be catastrophic for HMMA’s business… if we can’t get those parts out, we just couldn’t produce cars.”

Dalton said when the property is transferred to HMMA, it will become owners of the property for tax purposes and would otherwise owe the property taxes.

He apologized to the commission for the late notice to seek the abatement, but said the critical date for HMMA is before the first of November, when the equipment would be placed on HMMA’s books.

Dalton said the taxes for Lowndes County would amount to $7,227 per year for 10 years. However, he indicated that it would be for the remainder of the abatement granted Daehan.

While HMMA is in Montgomery, he said the property would be located at a facility in Lowndes County (Daehan Solution Alabama LLC).

When asked, Dalton said he could make Hyundai officials available to communicate with the Lowndes County Commission within the next week if necessary.

He said it is very important to Lowndes County that HMMA continues to contract with Daehan. “Our hope is with this new redesign and retooling of the Sonata and Elantra lines that we will sell more cars, that the Daehan plant will be required to expand to provide us with even more parts.”

He said indirectly the equipment has a huge affect on jobs in Lowndes County and the economic development of the area.

The commission tabled the abatement until the commission could meet with Hyundai officials and the next meeting of the commission.

County Engineer David Butts reported the bid price that came in for the resurfacing of Lowndes County Roads 2 and 13 from Wiregrass Construction is $939,956.23, which is below the $1.5 million estimated by the State Highway Department.

The county will have to provide a 20 percent match for the Federal Aid Project.

Butts said he his hoping the project should begin by mid November.

The commission approved a consent agenda that includes: Invoices, minutes, a $2,500 maintenance agreement with Hayneville Telephone Company, a $2,500 appropriation to Life Changing Community Outreach, a $500 appropriation to the Department of Human Resources, a $1,500 appropriation to the Burkville Volunteer Fire Department, a $250 appropriation to the Lowndes County Health Advisory Board, an appropriation of $1,000 to the Braggs Better Community Organization, a $3,000 appropriation to Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program and a contract with the Department of Youth Services for one bed at the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Facility.