Tax abatements performing for county, review council says

By Justin Wier


At Monday’s annual review of tax incentives across Mahoning County, Auditor Ralph Meacham said the incentives have performed well.

“If you look at the numbers, it’s having a positive impact on employment,” Meacham said.

Five enterprise zone tax abatements projected to create 300 jobs have resulted in 717 jobs, according to numbers in an annual report.

A projected $16.6 million to $19.8 million in investment has resulted in $32.4 million in investment.

The county has approved 10-year, 60 percent tax abatements to RSL Industries McHenry, InfoCision, Trumbull Manufacturing and Nordson Xaloy in Austintown, and Youngstown Baseline FedEx Ground in Jackson Township.

The abatements to Nordson Xaloy and Trumbull Manufacturing begin this year, and those to FedEx and InfoCision expire this year.

The FedEx, InfoCision and RSL Industries abatements resulted in $100,961 in forgone taxes.

Only one company, InfoCision, has failed to meet its investment goal – instead of $5.3 million to $6.1 million, it invested $4.5 million – but it outdid its goals for job creation, creating 451 jobs instead of 200.

“They’ve far exceeded what they ever anticipated [for job creation],” Austintown Township Trustee Jim Davis said at Monday’s meeting.

The Mahoning County Tax Incentive Review Council voted to recommend the county commissioners continue all current tax abatement projects.

The meeting also covered tax-increment financed projects, the most notable of which resulted from the Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course racino in Austintown.

Sarah Lown, public finance manager at the Western Reserve Port Authority, called it “the best poster-child for what TIF financing can do.”

She said about half of the planned roadway improvements surrounding the racino have been completed.

With local matches, the TIF has generated $3,194,173 for infrastructure improvements.

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