Lamb Weston Requests Tax Exemption for Idaho Plant

Published online: Dec 17, 2018 Articles
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Source: The Times-News

Lamb Weston wants to invest in its Twin Falls, Idaho, plant, and it’s asking the Twin Falls County Commission for a tax exemption.

The potato processor is planning to spend more than $6 million in improvements, according to its application submitted to the county.

“The project will install new potato peeling equipment, new potato cutting improvement equipment and new foreign material inspection equipment,” Lamb Weston said in its application. “The project will also modernize the equipment layout to make it safer, food safe and improve efficiency.”

Work began in August and is slated to be completed by May.

The Twin Falls County Commission will consider the request for a tax exemption at its meeting Tuesday. Affected taxing districts are welcome to present, including the Twin Falls Highway District, the city of Twin Falls, the Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency, Twin Falls County, the College of Southern Idaho, the ambulance district and Twin Falls County Pest Abatement District.

Commissioners will make their decision using a scoring matrix, Commissioner Don Hall said. The matrix takes into account things like the number of jobs saved or created and the wages and benefits of those jobs.

Twin Falls County has the right to grant property tax exemptions for certain types of manufacturing projects, generally up to a five-year timeframe, he said. The scoring matrix was developed using an example matrix from the Idaho Department of Commerce.

Lamb Weston’s Twin Falls plant was established in 1962 under the name of Idaho Frozen Foods. In 1994, ConAgra Foods purchased the plant and made it part of the Lamb Weston family. Lamb Weston separated from ConAgra Foods in 2016.

Twin Falls’ plant is one of the company’s largest facilities, and it employs about 650 people. The company says the majority of its potato purchases are made from within 100 miles of the processing plant. Lamb Weston is a global supplier of frozen potato products.

The Twin Falls County Commission meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the second-floor commissioners meeting room at 630 Addison Ave. W.