CALDWELL — Canyon County commissioners approved two separate tax breaks for county businesses on Monday.
Commissioners unanimously approved five-year, 50 percent property tax exemptions for Cordova Coolers, which makes coolers in Nampa, and for Fiberguide Industries, an international fiber optic manufacturer with a packaging facility in Caldwell.
The tax breaks will affect both companies’ planned expansions at their local facilities.
Starting this year, Cordova Coolers will be exempt from paying taxes on roughly $2 million in property value. Fiberguide will be similarly exempt from paying taxes on $3.9 million in property value, starting in 2020. The exemptions expire in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
Idaho code allows county commissioners to grant a property tax exemption for a defined business project for up to five years — as long as the company meets stringent job creation and other economic development requirements. Both applications were filed under Canyon County’s previous tax exemption ordinance, so they aren’t subject to the new property tax exemption rules county commissioners approved in November 2018.
“This is a great opportunity for Canyon County,” County Assessor Brian Stender told commissioners Monday.
Monday’s vote brings the total number of property tax exemptions approved in Canyon County over the last year to seven. Property tax exemptions tend to be unanimously approved by commissioners.
Fiberguide in Caldwell
Fiberguide Industries President Patricia Seniw and other company representatives told county commissioners the property tax exemption was one of the main reasons they chose to expand their Caldwell facility instead of their New Jersey facility. The company also has a location in Shanghai, China.
Fiberguide makes specialty optical fiber that’s assembled in Caldwell into a number of complex, high-precision products for a wide variety of industries. Some of those products are used to remove brain tumors, conduct DNA sequencing and build telescopes with the ability to find new planets, the Idaho Press previously reported.
The expansion will include an addition to Fiberguide’s facility at 3409 E. Linden St., which the company currently leases, as well as new equipment. Fiberguide estimates it will create 19 new jobs by 2020, according to its property tax exemption application. Those jobs include line workers making $14 to $18 an hour and four supervisors making $62,000 to $82,000 a year.
Cordova Coolers in Nampa
Cordova Coolers, recently named the official cooler of the National Rifle Association, is undergoing a $6 million expansion at its manufacturing facility, according to the company’s property tax exemption application. That expansion includes a new 10,400-square-foot warehouse behind its Nampa headquarters. Still, representatives said if they continue to hit their sales goals, they’ll be applying for more building permits that wouldn’t even be covered by this tax break.
Cordova also plans to hire 39 new employees, CFO James Smiley told commissioners last week, and possibly doubling the workforce in the next several years. They currently employ about 30 people in Nampa.
As the company grows, owner Doug McMaster said Cordova is sourcing more materials from Treasure Valley businesses. It also participates in international relief efforts with Mission Aviation and Hands of Hope Northwest.
“We are trying to partner with local people to help us get over the top,” McMaster said.