Council OKs tax abatement for hemp oil extraction company

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A company that works with hemp plants was given approval for a tax break by the Westfield City Council at its Sept. 9 meeting, paving the way for the firm to establish its headquarters in the city.

Biodynamics of Indiana, a plant-based life sciences extraction company that specializes in extracting oil from hemp plants, presented plans to build its world headquarters at 17219 Foundation Pkwy. inside the Theineman Construction building, while also requesting a five-year declining personal property tax abatement from the city.

Councilors unanimously approved the tax abatement for the proposal that includes installing approximately $24.5 million in new manufacturing equipment in the facility during the next two years, which city staff said will bring an estimated $14.7 million in assessed value. The abatement will decline by 20 percent annually from 100 percent.

James Chinn, vice president of Biodynamics of Indiana, said he expects the improvements to bring new jobs with aggregate salaries of approximately $2 million.

“Our impact to the community would be 20-plus well-paying jobs within the first year,” Chinn said. “Those jobs range from equipment operators to Ph.D.-level scientists.”

Chinn said the existing facility will include extraction and other oil-processing areas but that after the new phase of work is complete, the company plans to expand the site.

“In future years, if business is successful, we will add additional facilities,” Chinn told the council. “With that, we do project more (hiring), but we try to be conservative in our estimates.”

“This is a very new process and very new product, particularly in Indiana,” councilor Steve Hoover said. “I think it’s exciting. The more you know about it, the more you understand it, so I’m excited to have this company here.”

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