City to Consider Retaining, Rescinding Tax Breaks

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – City Council will consider ordinances tonight to extend enterprise zone agreements with nearly two dozen companies and call on one company to repay taxes that were abated under its agreement with the city.

The recommendations to council by the city’s Tax Incentive Review Council follow deliberations at TIRC’s June 19 meeting. At the meeting, the panel determined it was satisfied that 22 companies with active enterprise zone agreements were living up to their hiring and investment goals.

During the same meeting, the council members voted to recommend that the city require Rudick Forensic Engineering to repay taxes that had been exempted for 2015 through 2017 under the terms of its agreement.

Rudick had received a 10-year, 75% abatement of property taxes under the agreement the city approved in 2009. The incentive was to assist the company with the renovation of a warehouse it occupied at the rear of its property, 855 Tod Ave.

“There was already a structure in there for storage and they wanted to make that space usable,” said T. Sharon Woodberry, director of community planning and economic development for the city.

According to the annual report prepared for the city, Rudick, which had committed to retain 17 employees and add two through the end of last year, had 11 employees in 2016 and 10 in 2017. It also showed hiring no employees last year.

Based on discussions with company representatives, Woodberry said she did not believe the company was going to be able to restore its employment levels or meet the hiring objectives.

The company also fell slightly short of its investment commitment for real property. It had planned to spend $345,000 and had spent $314,207. It made an additional $74,623 personal property investment.

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