Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

August 20, 2009

Chrysler cancels meetings

Automaker owes county $12.9 million in taxes and penalties

Earlier this month, Howard County officials were optimistic there would be a quick resolution to discussions with Chrysler Group LLC concerning personal property taxes. That optimism has now changed to concern after talks with the automaker appear to have stalled.

Representatives from Chrysler Group LLC met with representatives from Howard County, Kokomo, Kokomo-Center Consolidated Schools and the Northwestern School Corp. on Aug. 4 to try to reach an agreement.

In June, Chrysler Group LLC informed Howard County officials the company was not responsible for the personal property taxes owed by Chrysler LLC, which filed for bankruptcy in April.

The “new” company paid the real estate taxes due in the spring and will make the November payment of $2.2 million.

The “old” Chrysler owes Howard County taxing units $12.9 million in personal property taxes and penalties this year and will owe an additional $12.3 million in 2010.

A second issue in the discussions is an appeal filed by Chrysler Group to lower the assessed value of the two newest transmission plants opened in Kokomo. The assessed value for the two plants is $106 million, and Chrysler wants that lowered to $55 million.

Following the Aug. 4 meeting, county officials said additional meetings would take place with Chrysler Group LLC.

Since then Chrysler has canceled two meetings with county officials, including one that was scheduled for Thursday.

“We were assured the number one task was to get this completed,” Howard County Council president Dick Miller said Wednesday.

He said Brian Glowiak, senior vice president of Regional Government Affairs for Chrysler Group, said the company was trying to determine who is authorized to reach an agreement with Howard County.

Glowiak told Miller there is a meeting in Detroit Tuesday that could determine that answer and a meeting could take place in Kokomo by the end of next week. A phone call to Glowiak was not immediately returned.

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