YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Mahoning County Tax Incentive Review Council approved continuing tax incentive programs that affect 13 companies during its meeting on March 20.
The TIRC meets each year to review tax incentives awarded to companies and organizations. It is composed of 14 members representing the county, school districts, townships and municipalities.
Most of the discussion centered on the county’s tax increment financing program, which officials say has helped bolster infrastructure in development corridors in the county.
Under a TIF, a percentage of a company’s new real estate taxes are diverted into a separate fund that is used to finance construction of public infrastructure. It is approved and managed by local communities.
The TIRC renewed four TIFs that impact six different companies and surrounding infrastructure.
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley’s project in Austintown, for example, has brought in $4.5 million worth of revenue. To date, $4.19 million worth of nearby roadway and traffic signal improvements have been funded through the program.
Others include a TIF in Jackson Township, where Pur Foods has expanded and the Ohio Utilities Protection Services constructed new offices. The program has helped fund $138,936 worth of new infrastructure.
“This program enables us to address these issues,” said Alan Hemphill, Jackson Township trustee, noting small communities such as his do not have the funds for major roadway and repaving projects. “It saves from placing the tax burden on the residents.”
Another project, a TIF for the Inn at Poland Way in Poland Township, was also approved. That project has elicited $329,684 for new road improvements.
The review committee also approved continuing enterprise zone agreements for ARS Recycling in Coitsville and Trumbull Industries and Nordson Xaloy in Austintown. All of the companies met or exceeded their investment numbers, and just one – Xaloy – failed to meet its job target, falling short by a handful of positions.
Under its enterprise zone agreement, the company pledged to create 143 jobs but reported 138 positions in 2022.
“They had actually created 143 jobs – then we had a pandemic,” Sarah Lown, public finance manager at the Western Reserve Port Authority, said. The company’s projected investment stood at $40 million, while its actual investment was $45.43 million.
The port authority administers the incentives programs for the county.
Enterprise zones are a state-run program that allow communities to offer real property tax incentives in return for new investments and jobs.
The TIRC also renewed Community Reinvestment Act agreements for four companies – Hilltrux Tank Lines, Liberty Steel, Republic Steel Metals and National Industrial Lumber Co. – in Jackson Township.
A fifth CRA project, the recent expansion at Southern Park Mall in Boardman, was also renewed.
Pictured at top: Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley’s project has brought in $4.5 million worth of revenue.