Eli Lilly could get $7 million in tax relief from Indy for building improvements

Posted: 4:02 PM, Mar 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-12 20:59:39Z
Eli Lilly cutting 2,000 U.S. jobs

INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly could get more than $7 million in tax relief from the City of Indianapolis over the next decade, if the City-County Council allows it.

A City-County Council Committee approved Monday night about $7.1 million in tax abatements to the pharmaceutical company over the next 10 years.

The abatements come as part of a multimillion-dollar investment into a building on Eli Lilly’s campus near Kentucky Avenue.

The investment is a $91 million expansion to the Lilly Technology Center – South first announced in 2017. It includes more than 22,000 square feet of building retrofit and 12,000 square feet of new building construction.

The building’s improvements will allow Eli Lilly to better produce insulin products, a representative said.

The last tax abatements Eli Lilly received were in 2017, which total about $9.3 million over 10 years. The company could not commit to adding more jobs as a part of the investment and abatements.

“It’s also worth noting that Lilly has made approximately $2.4 billion in investments to our facilities in Indianapolis since 2011, which has resulted in the preservation of thousands of highly-skilled manufacturing jobs and the creation of hundreds more,” Eli Lilly Communications Director Mark Taylor said.

Indianapolis Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Angela Smith Jones said the mayor’s office is in support of the proposal. She touted Eli Lilly’s community service programs for the city.

“Their corporate citizenship is premiere and is reflected in many ways that we cannot count,” Jones said. “When you look into their investment back into our city and our residents from not only the foundation but also the endowment, it absolutely pays more than whatever the abatement is in a dollar amount.”

The proposal passed, 9-1. It now goes to the full council.

The only no vote was by Councilor Zach Adamson.

He wanted to get more information from Eli Lilly on the how much the custodial staff is currently being paid.

Adamson participated in a protest with custodial staff in October 2018 for higher pay. The custodians are not paid through Eli Lilly, but are contracted through another company. But Adamson said it’s his understanding that the other company couldn’t pay them more until they received more money from Eli Lilly.

“I just want to look out for those people,” he said.