March 13 2013 12:00 AM

Tax abatement for aerospace manufacturing firm on hold

Thursday, Sept. 6 — In a brief, 28-minute meeting this afternoon, the Lansing City Council tabled action on a proposed personal property tax incentive for an aerospace manufacturing firm as it awaits more information on the property.

Pratt & Whitney Auto Air, which describes itself on its website as a “world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, industrial gas turbines and space propulsion systems,” plans to invest about $7 million for expansion at its Lansing location, mayoral Chief of Staff Randy Hannan said today. Hannan also said the expansion would create “30 or more hourly union jobs.”

“This company competes globally for business. There are very aggressive local incentives in those places,” Hannan said. “We really need to step up and do what we can to compete.”

A personal property tax exemption waves taxes on all new equipment, such as machinery, that’s part of the expansion. The Council was scheduled to set a public hearing on the incentive for its Monday meeting, but it was pulled from today’s agenda pending more information about the legal description of the property, which is technical information that needs to be added to the resolution.

Pratt & Whitney was founded 87 years ago in Hartford, Conn., where its headquarters are today. Its Lansing offices, at 5640 Enterprise Drive, are north of Miller Road and between Aurelius and Pennsylvania avenues. The company claims that its large commercial engines make up nearly 30 percent of the world’s “mainline passenger aircraft fleet.”

In other business, the Council unanimously approved two resolutions at today’s meeting. The first was on terminating a pair of easements in the Banghart Subdivision and purchasing a new one for $1 to install utilities at the site, near the North Larch Street and Lake Lansing Road intersection on the north side of the 1st Ward. The second resolution appoints Vern Johnson to the Capital Area District Library Board for a term that expires in 2014. Johnson will replace Joan Trezise on the board.