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CALDWELL — Canyon County commissioners continue to direct tax breaks to food processing companies, as the industry grows in the county.

Canyon County commissioners this week granted a property tax exemption to the American Food Equipment Company. A public meeting for commissioners to consider granting ZoRoCo Packaging company a property tax exemption is scheduled for June 17.

Both AMFEC and ZoRoCo applied for tax breaks under the new rules county commissioners approved late last year. AMFEC, which manufactures items like grinders, blenders and tumblers for major clients in the meat, vegetable, seafood and pet food industries, previously told the Idaho Press it is looking to expand by 60,000 square feet and hire an additional 50 employees.

Joe Cox, the Canyon County deputy assessor, said Canyon County was kind of a “sweet spot” for the food processing industry. A high availability of fair-priced industrial land, an established workforce trained for food processing jobs, a strong agricultural base and the I-84 corridor cutting through Canyon County makes the Caldwell area, specifically, attractive for new and expanding businesses.

“What’s nice about these food processing facilities is our local farmers get to participate in the growth,” Cox said. “It’s very beneficial to the whole community.”

American Food Equipment Company tax exemption

If AMFEC proceeds with the expansion in Caldwell, it will be exempt from paying property taxes on $2.4 million in property value from 2020 to 2022 and $2 million in property value from 2023-2024.

This is the second time AMFEC has received a property tax exemption to expand in Caldwell’s Sky Ranch Business Park. Canyon County commissioners approved a five-year, 75 percent property tax exemption for AMFEC to relocate to Caldwell in 2017. The first property tax exemption is scheduled to expire in 2022, while the exemption granted Monday won’t return to the county tax base until two years after that.

The company last month also received its second $200,000 job creation grant from the Caldwell Urban Renewal Agency for the expansion. AMFEC currently owns 10 acres at Sky Ranch, where more than two years ago it opened a 75,000-square-foot, $7.7 million facility. The expansion will be on the same property, off Smeed Parkway and Linden Street. The anticipated $4.5 million expansion is slated for completion by January.

ZoRoCo tax exemption

County commissioners will consider another tax exemption for ZoRoCo Packaging, a subsidiary of ZoRoCo Investments, on June 17. According to the company’s application for a property tax exemption, ZoRoCo proposes to invest $4 million in an expansion of a food packaging facility at 20200 Monte Way in Caldwell.

If Canyon County commissioners grant the tax exemption and ZoRoCo proceeds with expansion plans, the company will be exempt from paying property taxes on $2.8 million in property value in 2020, $2.4 million in property value in 2021, $2 million in 2022, $1.6 million in 2023 and $1.2 million in 2024. The company’s expansion would create at least 20 new jobs by 2024.

Nicole Foy covers Canyon County and Hispanic affairs. You can reach her at 208-465-8107 and follow her on Twitter @nicoleMfoy

Nicole Foy covers Canyon County and Hispanic affairs. You can reach her at 208-465-8107 and follow her on Twitter @nicoleMfoy

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