Lafayette City Council approves tax abatements for SIA for hybrid production

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Lafayette City Council approved two tax abatements for Subaru of Indiana Automotive, providing about $65 million in tax relief, opening the door for development of a new production line of "strong hybrid" Foresters.

The two abatements, coming in at $5 million for real property investments and $59,555,999 for personal property investments, will allow the Lafayette plant to begin production on strong hybrid Forester, said Rachel Hazaray, vice president of general council for SIA, by purchasing the equipment needed for production alongside real property investment modifications.

The abatement allows real and property taxes to be phased in over 10 years.

Kicking off questions, Councilman Kevin Klinker asked Hazaray to explain what made this hybrid vehicle a "strong" one.

Hazaray explained this is a variation of the hyrbid vehicle, with a few aspects causing it to stand out among other hybrid models.

"It has a traditional internal combustion engine, so it has a gas powered engine just like a traditional engine, and there also has a hybrid battery and those power trains toggle back and forth between one another," Hazaray said. "It's a little bit different from a plug-in hybrid."

With the expansion of the Lafayette plant will come an additional 100 jobs, Hazaray said, adding to the current baseline for the company of 6,464 jobs. After the approval of the abatements, Hazaray said production of the strong hybrid Forester is expected to begin in the spring of 2026.

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said SIA is the largest private employer in Tippecanoe County and also is the largest taxpayer, urging council members to approve the two abatements for the company.

"Not only is it their commitment to the community, but also they're a great corporate citizen with the Subaru Foundation and the other charitable work that they do in the community," Roswarski said. "Lots of things we have here simply wouldn't be here without Subaru."

Lafayette Councilwoman Eileen Weiss, who also served as Lafayette city clerk from 1983 to 1995, said she can recall the very first tax abatement the city considered in the 1980s for then Monon Corp., which is now Wabash.

"I think that since that time, we can see that the investment that has been made by the corporation to this community has been exponential in our growth," Weiss said. "And so I do think (Roswarski) is right — the corporations have more than made up for what we've given them."

Jillian Ellison is a reporter for the Journal and Courier. She can be reached via email at Follow her on X at @ellison_writes.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: SIA receives $65 million in tax abatements from Lafayette City Council