State wants economic development money back from local businesses

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State wants economic development money back from local businesses

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Nearly 85 percent of companies that received economic development packages from the state met their promises on job creation and other items, but Ohio is moving to grab back $776,000 in incentive money from businesses that didn’t hit their targets, according to a new state report from the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

Local companies facing clawbacks or reduction in tax credits include: Alpine Products, Inc. in Harrison Twp. and Dimco Gray Corp. in Centerville in Montgomery County and Rhinestahl Corp. in Mason in Warren County.

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State officials reviewed 329 economic development deals that concluded in 2015 and found that all but 50 had substantially complied with the terms, such as hitting job creation and retention numbers, training workers and generating new payroll.

If companies fail to live up to their promises, the state may demand repayment or make other changes to the deal. In the 50 cases where targets weren’t hit, the state is moving to clawback a collective $776,000. Some of the biggest take backs are being launched against well-known, big companies — Proctor & Gamble Co., U.S. Steel Corp., and The Dannon Co. — for failing to create or retain promised jobs.

Overall, compliance with the terms of economic development packages from the state has improved between 2011 and 2015, the report shows.

“While the state encourages growth in business, capital investments, and workforce retention and enhancement through incentives and training, it is imperative that these taxpayer dollars are used wisely,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine in the 29-page report delivered to the Ohio General Assembly.

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