Ron Gifford from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation appeared before the Knox City Council last week seeking a Statement of Benefits document for the Toll Brothers plant in Knox. Toll Brothers is the preeminent luxury home-builder in America.
The Statement of Benefits document that Toll Brothers is seeking is to certify that they are in substantial compliance with the original tax abatement that was granted.
Gifford said Toll Brothers has not been able to get to the jobs goal hoped for when tax abatement was granted. With the recession, the luxury homes industry took a major hit.
“Toll Brothers has recently added 14 additional temporary employees there,” said Gifford. “So, business has picked up somewhat from where it’s been. Considering what the housing market has been like for the last three to four years, we’re thrilled that they are still there. I can tell you that plans are on the horizon to expand something they are doing out there. Everything we’re hearing is optimistic and good. But obviously from a personnel standpoint, they’re nowhere close to the number of jobs that they hoped to create back when the council first granted tax abatement. As far as the investment they have made out there, they have certainly fulfilled the requirements.”
The council tabled the request until the April 24th meeting.