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Chrysler seeks big reduction in value at Toledo Assembly where it plans $8M expansion

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Chrysler is asking to reduce the value of its Toledo North plant from $169 million to $125 million.

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Chrysler Group LLC has asked Lucas County tax officials to sharply reduce the valuation on part of its Toledo Assembly complex even as the automaker seeks million of dollars in state and local incentives so it can add more than 1,100 jobs there.

Toledo City Council received word Thursday of the requested cut in the tax value of the plant that makes the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro sports-utility vehicles.

Tom Crothers, the city’s deputy mayor for external relations, said a deal is in the works that would drop the value of the plant next year from $169 million to $125 million, despite Chrysler’s plan to add an $8 million expansion to the facility prior to 2013.

A proposed tax abatement for the $8 million facility that the city had offered has been pulled back, Mr. Crothers added.

Both Toledo Public Schools and Washington Local Schools have objected to the devaluation but are involved in the discussion to reach some middle ground, city officials said. The devaluation would cost the city’s general fund $2.5 million because tax payments that Chrysler makes on its existing plant are  used to repay bonds the city issued in 1998 when the Liberty/Nitro plant was built. Those bonds have a more than $4.1 million outstanding balance that must be paid back, Mr. Crothers said.

The tax valuation issue came up Thursday in a City Council economic development meeting.

Chrysler Group LLC has petitioned Lucas County tax officials to vastly reduce the valuation on its Toledo North assembly plant even as the automaker seeks million of dollars in state and local incentives so it can add more than 1,100 jobs there.

Toledo City Council received word of the Thursday of requested cut in the tax value of the plant that currently makes the Jeep Liberty and the outgoing Dodge Nitro SUVs.

Both Toledo Public Schools and Washington Local Schools have objected to the devaluation but are involved in the discussion to reach some middle ground, city officials said. The devaluation would cost the city’s general fund $2.5 million because tax payments that Chrysler makes on its existing plant are currently used to repay bonds the city issued in 1998 when Toledo North was built. Those bonds have a more than $4.1 million outstanding balance that must be paid back, Mr. Crothers said.

The tax valuation issue came up Thursday in a City Council economic development meeting.

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