Miami County commissioners Dec. 22 approved 2017 county spending that includes 2 percent increases in salary accounts in the general fund for non-union employees.
The commission also voted at the same meeting to approve an enterprise zone agreement that would allow tax abatement for a new plastics manufacturer looking to locate in Tipp City.
The commissioners said the budget also includes salary increases for elected officials as approved by the Ohio General Assembly.
The overall budget appropriations for all county funds total more than $94 million. The general fund appropriations are just over $31 million.
The appropriations approved are 1.7 percent more than approved for 2016.
The commission said employee salary increases were possible because of conservative spending and dedicated employees.
“We certainly hope that their good work continues and we certainly thank them for their effort,” Commissioner Jack Evans said.
Despite a positive financial position the commission will keep an eye on revenue in 2017, particularly the sales tax with changes coming in the taxing of Medicare services. Those changes are projected to cost the county $800,000 in sales tax income for 2017.
“We have some concerns about reductions in revenues next year with the change in the sales tax for Medicare services and also how it affects the local government fund. We will keep a watchful eye on that,” Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien said.
In other business, the commission gave its approval to the proposed 12-year, 75 percent tax abatement sought by Gateway Plastics for its proposed Tipp City manufacturing plant.
The abatement was approved previously by the Tipp City council and the Tipp City schools board of education.
The company applied for the abatement through the city enterprise zone program this fall. It proposed a $30 million project including a 300,000 square foot facility off North Third Street where food grade plastics for products such as lids for Kraft salad dressing bottles would be made.
The company pledged to create 200 full time jobs over three years. The project would begin April 1 and be completed by March 31, 2018, the commission was told.
“Anytime you bring in a new business in the community, that is a good thing,” Commissioner Richard Cultice said.
“I certainly want to commend Tipp City for your efforts in bringing this to our community. I think, if all goes as planned, that’s a tremendous asset,” Evans said.