Although the construction of Beck’s Hybrids near Lafayette will not provide Madison County with a boost in funding through sales tax dollars, the county’s agricultural connection is strengthened by its presence, according to officials.
The Atlanta, Ind-based business is a family-owned and operated seed company that serves farmers in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa and Missouri. According to a recent media survey, Beck’s ranks as the sixth largest seed company in the United States.
The business of selling seeds to farmers doesn’t necessarily bring dollars to the county because when the farmer makes a purchase of seeds, it’s part of agriculture production. The purchase is exempt from sales tax.
The county will eventually receive real estate taxes as the property is improved, said David Dhume, county commissioner.
“With the improvement of the property, the value will increase, which means the tax value will increase,” Dhume said.
Properties are appraised by a professional appraiser to establish a market value. Then the property is taxed at 35 percent of the market value, according to the auditor’s office.
The estimated cost of the project was not disclosed, giving the county auditor’s office no way to estimate potential property value. The three-building complex is expected to include about 57,000 square feet under roof, which will be used primarily for storing thousands of bags of Beck’s Hybrids seeds for corn and soybeans.
From that facility semi trailers will be loaded with those bags and delivered to farmers who have purchased the seeds by way of their local seed dealer.
About five people will be employed within an office.
The warehouse’s future site is currently marked by strings of colored pennants dancing in the breeze. It’s located in a farm field on the north side of U.S. Route 40 just east of the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, where about 140,000 agriculturally-minded people gather each September for the Farm Science Review
That agricultural connection is strengthened by Beck’s presence in the county, said David Kell, economic development director for Madison County.
“We have a strong agricultural history here and having Beck’s set up strengthens the core industry in Madison County,” Kell said. “The jobs coming with the opening of the facility show there’s growth in Madison County and it’s a great place to do business.”
Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1617 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.