Today the Muskingum County Commissioner’s met with the Executive Director of the Port Authority to review both The Ohio Enterprise Zone agreements and a local company that hasn’t met the requirements.
Under an Ohio Enterprise Zone agreement, the Bilco Company, which manufactures parts for the housing and building industry, has failed to meet the job creation requirements. The company agreed to create 60 new jobs, but has only created 35 because of the downturn in the housing market.
"It’s a company that makes products that are directly tied to housing so their business follows housing starts. Right now it’s about 40-percent of what it was before the housing downturn. Nonetheless, there’s an importance to maintain the integrity of the agreements," said Mike Jacoby of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority.
The Ohio Enterprise Zone Program is a program where companies can negotiate property tax exemption to help lower their operating costs. It’s an incentive to encourage companies to bring jobs to the community.
"The company hasn’t done anything wrong but at the same time, these elected officials also need to maintain the integrity of the program. If an agreement is way out of line with reality, then it probably does make sense to go back and revisit that and adjust it."
Jacoby says the commissioner’s will decide on whether to amend the agreement and change the job commitment number to a more realistic number.