Accounting firms that are considering moving from their existing locations are getting a lot of help from local governments who want to retain or attract professional firms to their communities. Whitinger Properties, a long established accounting firm in Muncie, Indiana, received $120,890 in tax breaks this week from the Muncie City Council on a new $2.3 million office building in Ontario Place, the StarPress.com reports.
Whitinger has already begun construction on the new building, which should be finished next summer, according to Linn Crull, certified public accountant and owner. Whitinger provides accounting and financial consulting services.
The City Council approved the tax abatement for the building over a period of three years. Whittinger, which will be relocating from downtown Muncie, will retain 29 existing jobs and create eight more. Existing payroll is now $2.4 million annually, and new payroll will add another $400,000, according to the StarPress.com.
Rea and Associates a public accounting firm in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, will relocate to Mentor, Ohio, the News-Herald.com reports. The Mentor City Council recently approved an incentive grant worth $24,979 to the firm. Under the Mentor Incentive Grant program, the city can give a company annual grants based on its anticipated payroll and investment in the community, such as improvements or construction of a factory. To qualify for the grants, a company will typically agree to increase employment by a certain percentage each year.
Rea and Associates plans to make between $75,000 and $100,000 in improvements to the building they will lease, according to city documents the News-Herald reports. In addition Rea and Associates will increase its payroll annually.
Formerly known as Lynch, Anselmo, Ott, Bryan and Co., the firm has been acquired by Rea and Associates, which has its headquarters in New York. The company has a staff of about 24 employees and an annual payroll of about $1 million, according to city documents.
Community Development Director Ronald M. Traub said that Rea and Associates is moving because the Cleveland Clinic, the other tenant in their building, is planning to expand.
But offering tax breaks to businesses to stay in a community is receiving more scrutiny nationwide. Two citizens of Muskegee, Michigan, have criticized their City Council for providing property tax breaks to industry while asking citizens to agree to property tax increases, the Muskegee Chronicle reports. Terry Simon and Arnold Klein, long opponents of city policies, say that the city doesn’t have enough tax revenues to hire more police and firefighters, but according to Simon, never turns down tax breaks for industries that might not need them to stay in the city.