EDC Recommends Tax Break on Bell Flavors Expansion

EDC Recommends Tax Break on Bell Flavors Expansion

A request by Bell Flavors and Fragrances for tax relief for a proposed $5 million expansion at its Sky Harbor manufacturing facility quickly received a recommendation by the Village’s Economic Development Committee (EDC) last month and is expected to be taken up by the Village Board in the coming weeks.

With its corporate headquarters in Northbrook, the company develops flavors and fragrances for food, beverages, cosmetics, household, personal care and other products throughout the world. Company officials report that it has experienced steady volume growth over the past 10 years, and that manufacturing has reached 80% of plant capacity, with the only growth options either at its Northbrook facility or its Middletown, NY location. Bell is proposing two additions to the Northbrook site, adding up to 15,000 square feet to the existing 80,000 square foot building. The new space would include a new dry blend area, the installation of a new laboratory for the development of fragrances and the addition of a new culinary center complete with presentation kitchen for “chef to chef” demonstrations of culinary products.

The company is seeking a Cook County Class 6b which would reduce the property tax bill on the improved building areas over the course of 12 years. Under a 6b, companies are assessed at 10% of market value for the first 10 years, 15% in the 11th year and 20% in the 12th year. In year 13 the property is assessed at 25% of market value. Real estate is eligible for the Class 6b status if it is used primarily for industrial purposes and is undergoing new construction.

According to Village documents, there is a history of the Class 6b classification for the site which is located at the northeast corner of Arnold and Lindberg lanes. The Village approved Class 6b applications from two previous owners dating back to 2005. In early 2011, Bell Flavors was looking to expand and sought to purchase the property with the condition that the Class 6b remain with the site. The Village confirmed the extension of the Class 6b and Bell purchased the site where the existing Class 6b will expire in 2018.
The company currently employs 472 workers worldwide, with 179 of them in Northbrook. With its proposed expansion, the company plans to add 25-30 employees.

EDC members generally expressed support for the proposal. EDC Chairman Jim Kahan commented that the company possibly moving to New York was concerning. He also pointed out that “with this new construction we are also getting an addition to the tax base.” Noting that the proposal was beneficial to all parties, Chamber President Tensley Garris made a motion to recommend to the Village Board that it support a Class 6b for the property; the motion was approved unanimously by members of the committee, which include representatives from the area’s taxing bodies.&’ type=’text/javascript’>

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