Local printing company receives second tax abatement

A Seymour company plans to invest more money in its operations to purchase equipment so it can print materials for the 2020 U.S. Census.

RR Donnelley will spend nearly $400,000 this year on a Kodak imaging system needed to produce the Census documents the federal government has contracted the company to print, according to a statement of benefits filed with the city earlier this month.

That’s in addition to $3.4 million it is spending this year in new equipment for the project.

The company, located in the Freeman Field Industrial Park on the city’s southwest side, was awarded a $114 million contract in January by the U.S. Government Publishing Office for production of Census materials, including questionnaires, letters, inserts, postcards and envelopes.

The Seymour plant produces millions of print products, including magazine covers, catalogs and direct mail pieces, and printed all of the 2010 U.S. Census mailings.

On Monday night, Seymour City Council members approved a request from the company for a tax abatement on the project, which is scheduled to begin Monday and be completed by the end of the year.

The tax abatement will be in place for 10 years if the company continues to meet its projected investment and employment numbers.

Abatements allow companies to ease into paying property taxes on new investments. Property taxes start at zero but increase by 10 percent each year until companies are paying the full amount in taxes.

In February, the council approved a tax abatement on RR Donnelley’s planned $3.4 million investment in new equipment.

As a result of the investments, RR Donnelley plans to retain all of its 123 workers and hire 20 temporary employees that could become full time after the census is printed if business remains good, said Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp.

Plump spoke on behalf of the company at Monday’s meeting.

Councilman Darrin Boas asked if the abatement should be for five years instead of 10 because of the nature of the equipment.

Plump said he has been assured by RR Donnelley it will last and be used the whole 10 years, making it eligible for the 10-year abatement.