Cameron Tool looks for tax break for expansion

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By Josh Thall
The Lansing Star

LansingCameron Tool Corporation’s application for a tax break was referred to the City of Lansing’s Development and Planning Committee, after public comments about the project were heard during the Lansing City Council meeting on Monday.

City council president A'Lynne Boles and City Clerk Chris Swopes listen to public comments during the city council meeting on Monday. Photo Credit Josh Thall.

City council president A’Lynne Boles and City Clerk Chris Swopes listen to public comments during the city council meeting on Monday. Photo Credit Josh Thall.

Cameron Tool builds and repairs dies that cold form steel for the automotive industry and has been part of the Lansing community since 1966. The company is seeking a tax abatement  to expand its facilities.

Cameron Tool, President Tracy Selden said the company has chosen to expand now because of its backlog of sales.

“We need to stay ahead of the capacity curve,” Selden said. “Rather than get caught behind it.”

The project will cost Cameron Tool about $981,000, according to Steven Willobee, chief operating officer for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). LEAP is a non-profit organization that is not directly a part of the Lansing government, but manages Lansing’s economic development incentives through a contract with the city.

The abatement, known as an Industrial Facilities Exemption Certificate, will last for 12 years and cut Cameron Tool’s property taxes for the new project in half. This will save Cameron Tool about $87,000 in property taxes during that period, according to Karl Dorshimer, director of economic planning for LEAP.

“What we are really focused on is working with businesses, developers and entrepreneurs to try to pinpoint how we can help them accomplish what their objectives or goals may be,” Willobee said.

The expansion for Cameron Tool is a 5,000-square-foot addition/renovation to their facility at 1800 Bassett Ave. in Lansing. Three thousand square feet will be new facilities, and 2,000 square feet is current facilities which will be renovated, according to Selden.

Cameron Tool also plans to add a 20-ton crane, and other machinery to their facility, Selden said.

Selden said that this project will bring in 10 new full-time employees to its current staff of 80 employees, and should be completed by the middle of December.

“Jobs,” Selden said when asked what this project will bring to the community.

Selden said the tax abatement on its real and personal property taxes is offset by the taxes the city will receive from the new employees.

The City of Lansing could potentially receive almost $70,000 in new property and income taxes over this 12 year period, according to the application for the Industrial Facilities Exemption Certificate that was submitted to the City for consideration.

Councilman Derrick Quinney, who is also the chair of the Development and Planning Committee for the City of Lansing, said that he believes the application meets all of the criteria necessary for an abatement to be granted.

“It is an improvement to their facilities, it will help in growing the community and it is close to $1 million,” Quinney said.

Quinney said that the committee was to meet on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at City Hall to further discuss the request and to hear more public comment about it.

The Lansing City Council is set to vote on whether the tax abatement will be granted at its next city council meeting on Oct. 27.

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