City Council Puts Lippert Tax Break on Hold

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Action on the tax break for a company investing in a manufacturing plant in New Haven will wait until September, at the earliest.

New Haven City Council members want to get more information on Lippert Components Inc.’s purchase of Signature Seating before granting Lippert’s request for $18,912 in tax abatements over five years, the Journal Gazette reports.

Lippert, based in Elkhart, Ind., acquired marine seating supplier Signature for $16 million. The council had been expected to vote on the tax abatements at its meeting Tuesday but deferred the action instead.

Brian Yoh, New Haven’s planning director, said city officials had several questions about Lippert’s Aug. 3 application and wanted to meet personally with company officials before any vote.

No one from Lippert attended Tuesday’s meeting, he said.

“We like to have a sit-down (with the company) prior to approving anything, and we have not had that opportunity,” he said. “Lippert is trying to determine how they’re going to incorporate everything (purchased) into their business, and we want to make sure what they’re doing lives up to what the application says.”

Lippert sought the reduction in taxes based on a plan to install more than $678,000 in manufacturing, transportation and information technology equipment by 2018.

Although abatement proposals typically get approved, Yoh said retaining jobs and ensuring a company qualifies for any abatement are top priorities for city officials.

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