AUSTINTOWN Trustees endorse breaks on taxes

A trustee questioned why one company hadn't met its employment goals.
AUSTINTOWN -- Township trustees have recommended awarding tax abatements to two North Meridian Road businesses.
Ply-Trim Inc. seeks a 60 percent, eight-year abatement. The abatement would require it to pay an estimated $6,087 of the $15,217 it would be billed annually for real estate and personal property taxes on a $1.26 million expansion.
Dinesol Doorlites Ltd. seeks a 49 percent, seven-year abatement requiring it to pay an estimated $10,144 of the $19,890 annual taxes on a $1.725 million expansion.
Trustees unanimously endorsed the abatements Monday night, stressing that each could bring more tax money and jobs to the township. The Mahoning County commissioners have the final say.
The abatement requests come at a time when the township is facing financial difficulties. Last week, trustees said they would lay off two firefighters and end the juvenile diversion program.
Trustees said the cuts are needed because the township had to pay $460,000 to Phar-Mor as part of a tax refund.
Support for abatements
Trustee David Ditzler noted the township would lose additional revenue as well as jobs if the businesses don't receive the abatements and decide to move.
Ply-Trim has noted the abatement would help it add five full-time and one part-time employees. Dinesol's application said any jobs it added would count toward an abatement it received in 2000.
When it applied for that abatement, Dinesol predicted it would have 41 full-time employees by July 1, 2002. It has 22 now.
Trustee Richard Edwards said he was hesitant to endorse the new abatement when Dinesol hadn't met its employment goals for the 2000 abatement.
"If a business puts out a number, they better be right on the number," Edwards said. "At some point in time, those numbers better be realized."
Dinesol controller Michael Janak responded that the downturn in the economy affected the company's ability to hire. "We can only do our best and hope our best that we hit our numbers," he said.

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