The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, July 27, 2021 4:49 pm

Union official explains why tax break is a bad investment

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

A local labor union has provided Fort Wayne City Council a document that, according to the union, shows why the requested tax abatement for Amazon is a bad investment.

Teamsters Local 414 listed in a news release several reasons why it opposes the $7.3 million tax abatement: depressed wages and working conditions, skyrocketing injury rates, high turnover, struggling tax coffers and no net job growth. It also added that Amazon made $21 billion in profits for 2020.

The request is for Amazon's property at 5510 Flaugh Road off U.S. 30 to get tax breaks on its planned $100 million investment. Amazon is expected to create 1,000 jobs with an annual payroll of $30 million and an average annual salary of $30,000, which is $15 an hour.

If approved, Amazon would save about $7.3 million on personal property taxes over the next 10 years. The equipment's assessed value would be reduced by 100% the first year and gradually return to full value over the following decade.

Ehren Gerdes, business agent and trustee of Teamsters Local 414, will speak at the public hearing at 5:30 p.m. today. City Council is expected to discuss the request later in the meeting before voting.

“Amazon made $21 billion in profits last year and already received a tax break for the building in Fort Wayne; now they are coming back looking for yet another handout,” Gerdes said. “The money Amazon would pay in taxes on equipment would be a drop in the bucket for the company but could go a long way toward real investments in the Fort Wayne community. We are urging the Fort Wayne City Council to vote no. Do not let Amazon take advantage of our community.”

City Council meetings can be watched online via Facebook Live and City TV broadcasts.

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