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Companies cement Nevada plant plans

Anne Knowles

Two out-of-state manufacturers may soon be locating operations in northern Nevada, bringing more than 100 new jobs to the area.

James Hardie Building Products, an Australian maker of fiber cement products, and Hogue Inc., a Paso Robles, Calif., manufacturer of firearms, were granted tax abatements last week by the Nevada Commission on Economic Development as an incentive to locate in the state.

In the case of James Hardie, the company was allowed sales and use tax abatement on about $20 million in new equipment and on half of its property tax for 10 years for a new manufacturing plant.

The company is still scouting locations in Storey and Lyon counties, which both gave their blessings to the abatements, as well as sites near Sacramento, said Larry King, tax manager for James Hardie.

“We’re still trying to find land for the right price,” said King, who declined to be more specific than that.

The company plans to invest about $40 million on land, building and equipment.

That includes a 100,000- square-foot plant that would employ about 100 workers with an average wage over $18 per hour.

“The employee benefit summary was terrific,” said Leroy Goodman, a commissioner, referring to James Hardie’s employee benefits package outlined in its tax abatement application.

“It should be a model for private enterprise.”

King said the company’s new plant, which will be its 9th in the United States, is just the beginning.

“This is just phase one,” said King.

“It will double or triple within five or six years.”

Hogue has definite plans to move to Minden’s Carson Valley Business Park, which has accepted the company’s offer on land there.

“In light of the difficulties California presents to us, we have been looking at other areas,” said Aaron Hogue, president.

“And the incentives are the narrowing factor.”

Hogue plans to build a 35,000- square-foot building and will move its entire operation to the new location, transferring about 25 people from California and hiring between 15 and 40 here, said Hogue.

The company’s average wage will be $15.89.