LIMA — Wanting to boost the momentum of a developing downtown, Lima is adding a tax incentive for creating jobs there.
Mayor David Berger said the city can help draw business downtown and that there should be incentives for investment in the central business district.
“We want to add to the momentum happening in the downtown now,” Berger said. “This is for businesses thinking about moving downtown, and those who should be thinking about moving downtown.”
City Council approved the change Monday at its meeting. The legislation is effective immediately. The city already has a tax incentive for job creation in the city limits.
In recent years, several new businesses, including shops and restaurants, have opened downtown. Others, such as Old City Prime, Vivace and Fresh, are under construction now. The downtown is seeing other investments, such as Jerry Lewis’ McDonald’s and Maverick Media opening offices.
“We’re seeing a lot of energy right now downtown,” Berger said. “Restaurants, shops, continuing discussion from Rhodes State. We’re eager to do what we can to keep that up.”
For several years, Rhodes officials have considered moving part of the school to the downtown.
The Lima New Jobs Program allows the city to pay a cash incentive to any business owner or developer of property in the city that establishes qualifying new payroll equal to a minimum of $200,000 up to a maximum of $4 million for new jobs created in the city’s central business district.
The payment is 50 percent of the amount derived by multiplying the city income tax rate times the new payroll. The minimum payment will be $1,500. That increases by increments of $150 for each additional $20,000 of new payroll, for a maximum incentive payment of $30,000.
If the payroll is more than $4 million, the city can negotiate a new agreement with the employer.
Employers who have Lima residents as more than half of their new jobs are eligible for other incentive payments.