Central Ohio is in line to gain 73 jobs from three projects that were offered state tax credits yesterday, including a plan by Kroger to relocate and expand a pharmacy operation.
Kroger expects to add 23 jobs with a payroll of nearly $1.5 million a year as part of the project, which is planned for this year. The operation has 103 employees.
The company wants to relocate its operation in Columbus to a larger facility near Rickenbacker Airport.
The operation fills prescriptions that customers need on a regular basis and then sends them to the stores, where customers pick them up. That allows the pharmacists at the stores to spend more time with customers. The operation serves 144 Kroger pharmacies throughout Ohio. The tax credits for the Kroger project have a value of up to $95,982.
The project was one of 11 throughout the state to win approval from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority. The projects are to create 410 jobs and retain 874 others, resulting in more than $20 million in new payroll and generating $51 million in investment.
The tax credits are one of several economic-development tools deployed by the state to attract businesses and to keep them here. Gov. John Kasich has said recently that he wants to reduce dependence on awarding tax credits, as the state has worked to create a more business-friendly climate that is attractive to companies.
But the state said incentives remain necessary.
"We believe that the best incentive package is a jobs-friendly climate, and over the past two years, Ohio's climate has improved because, in part, we've balanced our budget, cut taxes, cut regulations and are addressing work-force needs of business," Kasich spokeswoman Connie Wehrkamp said. "Incentives continue to play a role in our economic-development strategy because we'd put Ohio at a competitive disadvantage if we did not utilize that option. However, incentives have a life span, and, when they run out, businesses want to be in a place with a good economic climate and a strong work force. That's our focus."
Stringfield Industries won tax credits for 25 jobs it plans to create as part of an expansion project in Delaware, where the company has 15 workers. The new jobs are to carry an annual payroll of$1.2 million.
The tax credits have a value of up to $62,365.
Stringfield is the parent company of My Service Depot and Coalesce Software. The companies, among other things, provide software that allows small service businesses to improve efficiency in areas such as employee scheduling and billing.
"The new building we're looking at is a big financial commitment," Skip Stringfield, the company's president and founder, told the authority.
The specialty-food company Robert Rothschild Farms won tax credits for an expansion near Urbana that is to add 25 jobs over the next three years. The company has 51 workers.
The company plans to expand its manufacturing and headquarters.
The additional workers will have an annual payroll of $1.3 million. The tax credits carry a value of up $73,090.
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