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Kokomo Common Council President Bob Hayes addresses the crowd during a council meeting March 14, 2016. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune

The Kokomo Common Council Monday approved two resolutions excusing both Aptiv and Delphi Technologies for turning in tax-abatement forms weeks after a May deadline.

The resolutions, which waive the companies’ non-compliance and allow the abatements to proceed as normal, were passed by the council despite frustrations by their sponsor that neither company showed up at Monday night’s meeting.

Council members passed both measures unanimously, 6-0.

President Bob Hayes, D-at large, who works for Delphi Technologies, abstained from voting and two council members, Bob Cameron, D-2nd District, and Janie Young, D-3rd District, were not present.

Sponsoring both resolutions was councilman Tom Miklik, R-6th District, who expressed frustration after the meeting that no one from Delphi Technologies or Aptiv showed up at the meeting despite the fact Monday’s actions were necessitated by the companies’ own failures to meet the deadline.

Requests for comment sent to both companies were not returned.

“It is disappointing that they did not come,” said Miklik. “I would have thought that – but then the worker bees are the ones that put this together, got it in and submitted. … I hate to be taken for granted. I just don’t feel good about that. So, yeah, it would have been nice if they would’ve showed up.”

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Kokomo Common Councilman Tom Miklik stands at the podium on election night at Howard County Republican Party headquarters on May 7, 2019. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune

The Delphi Technologies abatement, initiated in 2010, involved more than $59 million in personal property improvements. Each year, the company is required to turn in updated compliance forms related to the abatement with Howard County and city officials, with this year’s deadline falling on May 15.

Delphi Technologies instead filed its completed forms with the Center Township assessor and Howard County Auditor’s office June 7, and they were sent to the city by Center Township officials  June 12.

The abatement tied to Aptiv, meanwhile, also was initiated in 2010 and involved nearly $5 million in personal property improvements.

Aptiv, dealing with the same deadline as Delphi Companies, also turned in its forms June 7, and they were sent to the city by the Howard County Auditor’s office June 12.

The resolutions say other than not complying with the filing date and failing to notify the city directly, the companies otherwise qualify for their deduction, or abatement.

Kokomo Director of Development Jennifer Jordan, citing information provided by Howard County Auditor Martha Lake, said Delphi Technologies has five years remaining on its abatement; Aptiv has one year remaining on its abatement.

Lake told the Tribune the abatements are old enough that the 3% business circuit breaker credits save the companies more than abatements anyway.

“The abatements do not create a savings for them anymore,” explained Lake. “I was disappointed that Aptiv and Delphi Powertrain [or Delphi Technologies] did not at least submit on time this year since the abatements have not yet expired, but lucky for them, not filing should not affect their taxes.”

Lake said the forms were not received by public officials until after they “called and talked with them, so without special action, the council would not have been able to approve them anyway.”

“When the abatements began … of course submitting on time did lower their taxes, even after the circuit breakers were applied,” said Lake. “In the past, they would call us early in the year to obtain estimates of what their taxes would be. This is the first year that they did (not) contact us or submit their [compliance forms] on time.    

“Things have changed.”

Jordan said calculations about how much in tax savings remain for each company will not be calculated until the county’s processes are fully completed. She said she’s dealt with one other late filing during her time with the city; records show that waiver of non-compliance came in 2017 and involved General Motors.

Delphi, meanwhile, announced in 2017 it was spinning off its powertrain segment into two companies. Those two companies are Aptiv, focusing on technology related to self-driving vehicles, and Delphi Technologies, concentrating on powertrain development. 

That news shocked some in Kokomo when they learned that around 600 workers would become employees of Aptiv and be moved to a new facility the company will install in Indiana. 

Aptiv said last summer it will move its site “to the north side of Indianapolis/Westfield area” in the “latter part of 2019 or early 2020,” according to a job posting from the company on Purdue University’s website. 

“They keep talking that way, but they haven’t gone anywhere,” said Miklik. “And Delphi Technologies, which is part of powertrain, wants to stay, and they’re trying to hire engineers to come, [is] my understanding. So I hope they stay and maybe this [the council’s actions] will help. We don’t know.”

Miklik said there was no thought put into not passing Monday’s resolutions.

“Not really. No, not really,” he noted. “We’re at the end of the abatement, so there’s really no reason to make an issue of it when it’s already done. If you were going to make an issue of it nine years ago, maybe it would have been worthwhile talking about.

“Because they file this form every year. So every year they have to go through it. This year they’re 30 days late, causes us to have to accept it. … There was talk about hopefully someone would show up to represent it. But it was recommended by the [council] attorney and by the assessor and the auditor to move forward and to do it. It was a group hug.”

Another councilman, Vice President Mike Kennedy, said he had no problem with the companies not being represented at the meeting.

Kennedy said he would expect company officials to be in attendance if there was some sort of change or alteration being made to the abatements.

But not in the case of what could be viewed as a housekeeping, or simple paperwork, item.

“I wasn’t expecting them to show up necessarily unless they were new [abatements]. I wasn’t disappointed,” said Kennedy, who also cited the changes undergone by Aptiv and Delphi Companies when saying he had no problem with how Monday’s meeting proceeded.

George Myers can be reached at 765-454-8585, by email at george.myers@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @gmyerskt.

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