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Abbiamo Pasta property tax break approved by Cass County Commission

Commissioners unanimously signed off on the county's part of a 10-year payment-in-lieu of taxes incentive to help the Casselton pasta plant double in size.

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Abbiamo Pasta Co. received approval Monday, Nov. 16, from the Cass County Board of Commissioners for a tax break for a major addition to the firm's Casselton, N.D., plant. Pictured are a couple pasta shapes similar to what the plant produces. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)
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FARGO - A 10-year property tax break for an expansion that will double the size of a Casselton pasta plant was unanimously approved by the Cass County Commission on Monday, Nov. 16.

The expansion at Abbiamo Pasta Co., 1900 Governors Drive, includes a 93,000-square-foot steel building worth about $5.2 million. It is being built on land valued at $125,000, according to the payment in lieu of taxes application.

The company also anticipates installing $4.5 million in machinery (robots, packaging equipment, silos and a pasta line), the PILOT application said.

The tax break, estimated at more than $68,000 per year, would run from 2021 to 2031, the application submitted by Abbiamo Controller Chuck Kessler said. Abbiamo will pay $100 per year in taxes on the expansion for the 10-year life of the PILOT.

Melissa Beach, Casselton’s community and economic development director, told the commission that the plant and the jobs it provides will double in size and numbers.

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The company currently has 38 employees with an estimated payroll of $2.1 million.

The tax break has already been approved by the city of Casselton and is being considered by Casselton School District officials.

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“In a town like Casselton, any time we can encourage business growth, it’s important to us. Obviously down the road, we’ll have more tax dollars coming in, once their incentives have ended,” Mayor Lee Anderson said Thursday, Nov. 19. “Hopefully, they’ll have increased employment like they’re talking. That’s kind of why we do that kind of stuff.”
Casselton City Attorney Del Losing said that Abbiamo paid $8,508.73 in property taxes, special assessments and a maintenance charge in February 2020.

Abbiamo Pasta Co. was established in the spring of 2013.

The company has two years left on a 10-year PILOT that was granted for its main building. Construction on that building was started in 2013 and completed in 2014. For the first five years of that PILOT, the firm received a 100% property tax break. In 2022, the firm will receive a 20 percent tax break, according to information shared with the county commission. The full value of that building and property is currently listed at $1,541,300, according to Cass County records.

A second PILOT granted in 2017 for an addition gave Abbiamo 100% property tax breaks from 2018 to 2022. The addition is valued at $574,000, county records show.

A company representative declined an opportunity to comment on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

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The company can produce 30 million pounds of pasta a year in shapes such as elbows, rigatoni, penne rigate, ribbons and rotini, according to its website.

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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