GALION — Galion City Council has approved entering into an agreement for a job creation tax credit with Buehler’s Fresh Foods. The decision was made at the Sept. 28 council meeting.
The northern Ohio grocery store chain is opening its newest location in Galion at 230 Portland Way North in the Galion West plaza, formerly home to Geyer’s Market.
Buehler’s is renovating that location, which will be home to the 14th store in the chain. The new store is expected to open either in late October or in early November.
According to the terms of the agreement (Ordinance No. 2021-87) between the city and Buehler’s, the company “intends to create seventy-five (75) new jobs over the five (5) year period” with a projected initial payroll of $826,000 increasing to $1 million by the end of the five-year period. The 75 jobs will be new full time or equivalent to full time.
“The logic that I apply to this is that currently no income tax is being earned at that site (where the Buehler’s store will be located),” Mayor Tom O’Leary said. “No income tax is being paid, the city’s not earning anything off that. We also have lost payroll the last two or three years in the neighborhood of $600,000 to $800,000 even at the end of the previous owner (Geyer’s), a pretty significant payroll earned by a lot of locals. So what this does, the city will forgo its income tax that we would charge — the 2%.
“What we would get as a community is a new grocery store and the expectation over the first five years, about $800,000 in new payroll, new money in the community, and if things go well, having that grow to about $1 million a year in payroll. The upside is increased earnings in the community.”
Buehler’s conducted two hiring fairs in September to recruit employees for the new store. O’Leary said he understands that a majority of people hired to fill those jobs are local residents.
“I think a lot of people that they hired are local folks, so that’s a good thing,” O’Leary said. “That money will be earned here and most likely spent here. That’s the upside.”
O’Leary noted that the job creation tax credit is the only incentive that Buehler’s has requested from the city.
Council voted 7-0 to suspend the rules and pass the Ordinance No. 2021-87 as an emergency. Council also voted 7-0 to pass the ordinance.
Galion City Council adopted the City of Galion Job Creation Tax Credit program via ordinances approved on April 24, 2018.
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