By Marc Kovac
One of the country’s top sour-cream makers is a big step closer to breaking ground on an Ohio manufacturing plant, thanks to tax incentives approved by a state panel Monday.
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved the 10-year, 55 percent new job tax credit for Daisy Brand LLC, which is eyeing property on the east side of Wooster for the $116 million-plus, 200,000-square-foot facility.
With the incentive, the company would commit to creating 89 full-time jobs, with a total payroll of $4.5 million.
The state has been in competition with Michigan for the plant, but local officials said Monday that state and local incentives and a ready supply of milk from area dairy farmers were key in prompting the company to choose Ohio.
“Wayne County is the No. 1 dairy county in the state, producing more than 600 million pounds of milk a year,” said Shawn Starlin, project manager for the Wayne Economic Development Council.
Starlin was joined by Wooster Mayor Bob Breneman, chamber President Justin Starlin and Jonathan Millea, the city’s economic development coordinator, for the Tax Credit Authority meeting near the Statehouse.
Daisy is a multigenerational, family-owned business that was started nearly a century ago. Its sour cream, cottage cheese and other dairy products are carried by most major retailers.
Daisy would add another mainstay consumer brand to Wayne County’s manufacturing scene, joining the J.M. Smucker Co., Frito Lay and Smith Dairy, among others.
The state incentives OK’d are refundable tax credits against what the company would pay in corporate activity or income taxes, based on the state income taxes withheld on new, full-time employees. For example, a company paying $100 in state income tax withholding for a new worker would be credited with $55 toward its other state tax obligations (commercial activity, state income or insurance premium tax liabilities), based on a 55 percent credit.