McPherson County Approves Latest Tax Abatement for Viega, Mayor Brown Focuses on Future Growth

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
December 16, 2016

McPherson County Commissioners recently approved another ten-year property tax abatement for Viega for its newest expansion that is planned to start in early 2017.  

“Viega plans to build a 90,000 square foot facility to be able to manufacture copper press fittings,” said Nick Gregory, McPherson’s city administrator. “The facility will add about $20 million in investment into the community.”

Gregory explained that the copper press fittings are currently manufactured by Viega in Germany. It’s a proven product with increasing demand, and the change in location for its production will bring even more manufacturing jobs to the McPherson community.

“It’ll expect to bring up to 72 new full-time jobs in McPherson County over a five-year period,” Gregory said.

The abatement allows Viega to not pay property taxes on just this expansion for the next ten years.

Viega is a global leader in pipe fitting technology that employs over 4,000 people world-wide. Since opening its main plant in McPherson back in 2009, almost 300 of Viega’s 500 employees in the United States work at the McPherson plant.

McPherson Mayor Tom Brown expressed his support for the county’s latest tax abatement, saying it’s important to keep the big picture in mind.

“Our goal has been all along to make McPherson the North American manufacturing center for Viega,” said Mayor Brown. “It’s important that we continue our support.

“If we don’t,” he continued, “And the center for manufacturing for North America moves somewhere else, it’s not just the few jobs that you get with each incremental change, it’s the potential that you may lose what you have already.”

Mayor Brown said this expansion is just one of many that are planned, and the tax dollars Viega will pay in the long run will more than make up for the 10-year tax abatements that are, of course, only temporary.

“The master plan will add several more of these buildings on that property,” Mayor Brown explained. “So if we keep on doing this, we never lose a dollar by giving an abatement. We simply defer it.”

As an example, Mayor Brown cited Viega’s first tax abatement that will come due to the county in about two years, with the next one just a few years after that.

“We are building the evaluation base of McPherson County,” Mayor Brown stated. “That is a benefit to every citizen; it’s a benefit to the county; it’s a benefit to the school district, increasing that evaluation base.”

Viega’s newest expansion project is expected to be up and running in the spring of 2018.