Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ohio gives firm tax credit to move within state

Most state economic incentives are designed to bring jobs into a state, not move them within it. But in Ohio, the state is granting a deck-and-fencing materials company a 50 percent tax credit to leave the capital of Columbus for the rural town of Wilmington, pop. 12,500, between Columbus and Cincinnati, Joe Vardon and Dan Gearino report for The Columbus Dispatch.

The tax credit will only be given if the Wilmington site creates 85 new positions, in addition to any transfers from the Columbus facility. Sixty-five full-time employees worked in Columbus, and seven have accepted positions in Wilmington. A company spokesperson said there is room in Wilmington for all 65 employees.

"The state does not divulge how much the credit is worth to the company, which also received an undisclosed grant from JobsOhio," the Dispatch reports. Laura Jones, JobsOhio spokeswoman, told the paper that TimberTech, which was sold last year to CPG International, a company based in Scranton, Pa., "made it very clear to us that they were consolidating the jobs in Columbus and they were going to be leaving Columbus one way or the other. When the alternative is losing jobs to another state, we are always going to look at all options and do what is feasible to keep them in Ohio. … That’s a positive for Ohio.”

When Republican Gov. John Kasich announced the opening of the Wilmington site, he didn't mention the one in Columbus would be closing, the Dispatch notes. Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Matt McGrath told the paper, "It’s outrageous that Gov. Kasich and (JobsOhio chief) John Minor would stand on stage and heap praise — and tax breaks — on a company that was in the process of closing its Columbus plant and laying off dozens of workers, thereby encouraging other companies to force Ohio towns into competing for jobs that already exist." It's not the first time Kasich has been involved in offering a state-sponsored tax credit to a business. In 2011, Bob Evans received one for moving its headquarters. (Read more)

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