At the expense of the middle class, unions, and elderly, “business friendly” means handouts and special exemptions for businesses


Governor John Kasich and the other cheap labor conservative members of the GOP talk about how the state isn’t business friendly. To them that means attacking the unions, middle class, and elderly while out of the other side of their mouths, the Governor and his buddies have given big businesses tax credits and other hand outs. Most don’t really need them. That is exactly what happened in the case of Findlay’s Marathon Petroleum.

Marathon, founded in Findlay, and still having 1,600 employees in the city along with a large office complex downtown, seemed to be in “urgent need” of help from the state government in the form of tax credits. This is the same oil company that made net profits of $2.6 billion in 2010 and nearly $1 billion more in the first quarter of 2011.

The $78 million package will include a 75 percent, 15-year job retention tax credit to keep its 1,650 employees in Findlay and a 60 percent, 10-year job creation tax credit the company says will allow it to hire 100 new employees and not to mention a special bit in the state’s transportation budget exempting exchanges or transfers of gasoline from the commercial activity tax.

In a news conference with [Marathon CEO Gary] Heminger and the governor following the speeches, out-of-town reporters seemed eager to elicit signs that only tax incentives are keeping Marathon Petroleum in Findlay.

Both Kasich and Heminger dispelled those ideas… To get the tax credit, Marathon must stay in Findlay at least 18 years. The tax credit helped Marathon’s decision to be headquartered in Findlay, but it was not the only factor.

“I think Marathon always wanted to be here,” Kasich said. “We just helped them.”

Heminger reinforced those points.

“I’ve always wanted to stay in this community,” he said. “I grew up about 30 miles from here … We’re very pleased that we made the decision to stay here.”

Governor joins celebration of Marathon’s independence published July 1, 2011 Findlay OH Courier

But a company should NEED the tax credits and special exemption from the activity tax and Marathon obviously doesn’t.

So what happens if the company decides to leave Findlay before the 18 years are up – they forgo the rest of the credit and have to pay back the part of the $78 million given to that point. For the 5th largest refiner in the country that’s pocket change. Requiring 100 new jobs for Findlay, which in May was in the top 20 for the lowest unemployment rate in the state, is a total joke.

Most of these tax credit hand outs only happen because the corporations know they can get them. The cost to them also is negligible.

Wonder how the hypocrits in the state house lost the idea of shared sacrifice. The unions, elderly, and middle class have been hit enough. Where are their tax credits and exemptions?