Ohio gives Goodyear a tax break
The state of Ohio has approved a complicated financing and tax incentive plan designed to keep Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Akron for the next 30 years. The plan is intended to kick-start a four-phase $800 million development around the current Goodyear headquarters.
On Monday, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority voted to reduce Goodyear's commercial activities tax (CAT) by up to 27 percent over 15 years in return for retaining as many as 2,900 jobs in Akron. Another state panel, the Ohio Development Financing Advisory Council, voted to give the Summit County Port Authority a $20 million loan with zero interest and no payments for the first five years.
Together, the financial incentives are aimed at persuading Goodyear and the Industrial Realty Group to move ahead with plans to redevelop 280 acres in and around the tire maker's operations.
IRG would buy Goodyear's buildings and most of its property in Akron, construct the new headquarters and lease the building back to the company.
With the deal being nearly completed, state, county and city officials, Goodyear and IRG representatives Please see Tax, A12 talked tentatively about plans to dramatically overhaul a large portion of Akron.
The Goodyear board is expected to vote on the plan today. Contracts between Goodyear and IRG would need to be completed.
To set the final steps in motion, the state held public hearings to approve the financial packages.
First, the tax credit authority voted to reduce the company's CAT, which is based on Goodyear's product sales in Ohio. In return, Goodyear would agree to maintain operations at its new headquarters for 30 years, according to the development department.
Goodyear would save an estimated $30 million in CAT taxes over the 15 years, but the reduction would be tied to the number of jobs retained, and if the company's employment in Akron fell below 2,000, then the tax credit would no longer apply.
Laura Thompson, Goodyear vice president for business development, said the company has been in the same facility for more than 100 years and needs to modernize its operations for functional reasons and to attract top talent from around the country.
''Goodyear has received offers from other states,'' Thompson said, ''but we have chosen to let Akron and Ohio make the first proposal. We are very willing to relocate within the city of Akron if the proper development and incentive structure can be secured. Obtaining these incentives from the state is a critical piece in our decision. Goodyear fully understands that by accepting these incentives from the state, it will commit to 2,900 full-time jobs at our site and we intend to honor that commitment.'' Ohio.com