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TRUMBULL COUNTY Tax breaks await OK by officials



Published: Thu, October 14, 2004 @ 12:00 a.m.



Niles City Council has approved the agreements.

By STEPHEN SIFF

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Trumbull County commissioners are expected to approve two tax breaks today for companies planning to invest in Niles, including one that promises to bring 900 new jobs.

The agreement with West Corp., of Omaha, Neb., would reduce property taxes by 75 percent for 10 years on building improvements and new furniture and fixtures to reopen the former MCI call center on Youngstown-Warren Road. In return, the company has promised to hire 900 full-time workers within a year. Annual payroll is expected to be $14.4 million.

West Corp., which provides customer service by telephone, plans to begin operations at the new facility by the end of the month. It will spend between $1.8 million and $2.2 million to get the local facility running, officials say.

The second agreement expected to be approved by commissioners would grant Ohio Valley Aluminum a 75-percent reduction in property taxes for 10 years on renovations and new inventory at the former Indalex plant on Carle Street.

Ohio Valley Aluminum purchased the plant in June. The company plans to invest between $500,000 and $600,000 in new equipment at the plant and between $1 million and $2 million in new inventory. Both agreements were approved last week by Niles City Council.

Agreement provision

Commissioners are also expected to add a provision to an agreement with BRT Extrusions Inc. that would require the company to pay back money if it does not meet employment goals. The provision has been a part of all tax abatement agreements since a change in state law in June, planning commission director Alan Knapp said. It was left out of the agreement with BRT as a result of an error.

In June, commissioners granted the company a 75-percent reduction in property taxes for 10 years on a $1.7 million to $3.4 investment in Niles Commerce Park. The company pledged to create 25 jobs within a year.

The amendment expected to be approved by commissioners today would require the company to pay back the full amount of the tax break if employment levels dip below 75 percent of what was promised in three years after the project is completed.

siff@vindy.com




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