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State OKs Tax Credits for Tama Meatpacking Plant

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TAMA, Iowa (AP) - State officials on Friday approved tax credits for developers to reopen a long-closed meatpacking plant in Tama that would eventually employ about 600 workers.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approved $4 million in tax credits to Iowa Premium Beef, The Des Moines Register reported. To receive the incentives, the company must create the jobs and offer a wage of $15.42 an hour to 120 employees.

The company plans to open a beef processing facility at the plant, which was shuttered in 2000. The proposed $48 million project aims to turn the space into a "state-of-the-art beef production facility." Production is expected to begin in the fall.

"It's huge," said Tama Mayor Dan Zimmerman of the project. "It will create a big economic boost for the community."

The facility will pull cattle from 150 miles around Tama to help process Black Angus beef for food service, retail and international customers. It could initially process as many as 1,100 head of cattle a day. Officials say it could double its capacity over time.

Zimmerman said the project's financial support is solid, though he didn't provide additional information.

"If they have some lean months, it will still operate," he said.

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