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Hwashin granted tax abatement

Published 3:55pm Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hwashin America announced on Thursday its plans for a $25 million, 100,000-square-foot expansion at its Greenville facility.

On Monday, officials with the City of Greenville announced that the city will grant the company a 10-year tax abatement to aid the expansion.

The abatement means that the company will be exempt from paying all state and local non-educational taxes and all construction related transaction taxes with the exception of those levied for educational purposes or for capital improvements for education.

“Our schools will be the immediate benefactors,” said David Hutchison, executive director of the Butler County Commission for Economic Development. “After 10 years the city will begin to get property taxes, and it should be noted that Hwashin just celebrated its 10th anniversary in Greenville.”

According to Josh Simmons, Hwashin Human Resources Manager, the expansion will allow the company, which produces chassis and body components for Hyundai and Kia, to add production and welding lines to accommodate the increased demand for parts for Hyundai’s Sonata, Elantra and Santa Fe.

Simmons said the expansion will also create 30 new jobs at the facility, which already employs approximately 700 people.

“Hyundai and Kia are both growing and expanding,” Simmons said. “In order to keep up with the demand for their vehicles, we’re having to expand our production and that’s going to create jobs, and that’s great for our community.”

Simmons said he expects the hiring process to begin around June or July.

Simmons said construction on the expansion could begin as early as April. The company’s plans for expansion were approved by the Greenville Planning Commission on Monday.

The additional welding and production lines could be up and running by the end of the year, according to Simmons.

In May of 2012, the city extended a 10-year tax abatement to the company to aid with an expansion that included a $5 million investment in new equipment and the hiring an additional 30 employees at an estimated cost of $750,000 in payroll.

That abatement excluded the company from paying all state and local non-educational taxes, all construction related transaction taxes with the exception of those levied for educational purposes or for capital improvements for education, and all mortgage and recording taxes.

The city has issued tax abatements for Hwashin since 2003 when it located in Greenville.

“We’re so thankful for Hwashin and what they do for our community and how they’ve grown,” Mayor Dexter McLendon said. “We want to help them continue to grow in any way we can. (Granting tax abatements) for companies that are expanding is something that we’ve been doing for some time now.”

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