Of 266 companies that received grants, tax credits and other monies, 120 did not comply with the program’s requirements, according to the report.
One of the non-compliant businesses: Norwalk Furniture.
State attorneys found Norwalk Furniture had committed to creating 260 jobs by the end of 2012, in exchange for a 55 percent, six-year tax credit.
The company added only 145 jobs. As a result, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority decided to reduce the tax credit to 50 percent for tax year 2014, the final year of the credit. The agency also forgave Norwalk Furniture from having to create the additional 115 jobs.
Norwalk Furniture’s tax agreement started in 2009 to help the company re-establish operations at the plant after it filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors in 2008.
The company has earned about $200,000 in tax breaks for the 145 jobs it did create, said Lyn Tolan, spokeswoman for Development Services Agency.
“This is a good company dealing with things out of their control, such as the housing market downturn that impacted furniture sales” Tolan said.
Norwalk Furniture has still been something of a success story. The company refused to die, coming roaring back to life with employees and investors reopening the business.
“They came back — 145 jobs is nothing to sneeze at” Tolan said.
Still, the company did not meet the projected job development. As such, the agency had to lower the tax credit percentage slightly, Tolan said.
The Attorney General’s office receives the contracts from the state’s Development Services Agency, and attorneys review them to make sure the agreements are being met, said Dan Tierney, spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General’s office. They then notify the agency as to whether or not the company met the terms. The Development Services Agency then decides if any action is needed.
Representatives at Norwalk Furniture did not return multiple messages seeking comment.