MacNicol defends consultant's work

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010

Alex MacNicol, director of the Erie Regional Planning Commission, is defending the work done for the county by Greg Sherman, Erie County's economic development consultant.

As I wrote in Friday's paper, the Erie County Commissioners debated Sherman's work before voting 2-1 to approve his contract, with Tom Ferrell and Nancy McKeen voting to OK the contract and Bill Monaghan voting against it.

When the county offers a local company a tax abatement, Sherman is the person who examines the company's tax filings to make sure it is paying all of the taxes it should be paying, MacNicol explained. He said he can document Sherman has collected more than $525,000 in taxes by catching mistakes made by companies.

Most of that money went to local schools, said MacNicol, who added that schools must approve any agreement giving companies a tax break.

"I think it's really important for us to have that credibility with the schools," MacNicol said. "If we abate taxes, we want to make sure the agreement is properly monitored to make sure both sides are complying with the agreement."

Comments

Anonymous

why doesn't the county auditor examine company tax filings and monitor the abatements? Isn't the auditor the head of the tax abatment review committee?

Anonymous

Yes, the auditor should be the head of the tax abatement review committee...looks like the township has their own "good ole boy" system, just like the City. It is time for Sherman to pack his bags and let county staff do his job. It's just another way for Sherman to stay on ANOTHER payroll. Go back to Huron.

Anonymous

Tom, What kind of political posturing is going on with hiring Greg Sherman? First it is the city and now the county going up against the vote to keep him on. I don't feel comfortable with having this work done in house because of the expertise involved and it is too easy to look the other way if the work is done in house. Sometimes, you just have to have some checks and balances or the county and city can give away too much without the taxpayer acutally knowing what is going on. Gregg Sherman is an outsider and will tell it like it is and protect the taxpayer. Strict monitoring has to be in place. You can't give out loans if the books don't look too good. So many times, I see loans being taken out and a year later the company closes.

Anonymous

How about having Sherman audit Cedar Point on their most recent tax abatement. Since those are set up for NEW businesses that are small, not businesses that are huge and the commissioners are in bed with them!!!

Anonymous

Made a phone to call to Columbus on Friday and was told by staff at the Ohio Development Department that almost every other county in Ohio has staff people and the county auditor monitor tax abatements. Makes one think why Erie County and Sandusky are paying double for the same thing. First they are paying staff and then paying Sherman to do the staff's work. Doesn't sound like a wise use of taxpayer dollars.