Mille Lacs prepares tax abatement

Mille Lacs County commissioners are now proposing their version of tax abatement to Coin-Tainer owner Dave Walters to rebuild a Coin-Tainer manufacturing plant in the Milaca Industrial Park.

The county’s proposal follows a recent tax abatement offer by the city of Milaca to Walters that would give Coin-Tainer 15 years of city tax abatement at a value of $328,785, with an option to possibly extend it to 20 years for an even higher total.

The Mille Lacs County Board conducted a public hearing July 1 in Milaca on its tax abatement proposal for Coin-Tainer and there was no public comment.

The board will act on its proposed abatement at its meeting next Tuesday, July 15.

The county’s proposal is to abate Coin-Tainer’s county property taxes for 12 years, which at $23,149 per year would total $277,788.

The Coin-Tainer plant was destroyed in an explosive fire on Jan. 15 this year in the Milaca Industrial Park.

Through both the Milaca city tax abatement offer and the county’s proposal, Walters would have to meet certain requirements. For example, in the case of the county, Walters would have to put up a 35,580-square-foot steel building with 20-foot sides that would have an estimated assessed market value of $1.36 million. Coin-Tainer would also have to pay wages of at least $11 per hour.

The combined offers from the city and county about equals what the city of Elk River has said it could give Coin-Tainer to build there, Mille Lacs County Development Coordinator Richard Baker said this week.

“I think it’s a good opportunity,” Baker said.