Monroe considering agreement with business that didn’t meet terms of tax deal

Monroe City Council is considering an agreement with Performance Food Group who had a problem meeting their 2019 payroll goal required for its Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF FILE
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Monroe City Council is considering an agreement with Performance Food Group who had a problem meeting their 2019 payroll goal required for its Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF FILE

Monroe City Council could allow a local business that did not meet its 2019 payroll requirement to comply with its tax deal with the city.

City Manager Bill Brock said Tuesday a Memorandum of Understanding was reached between the city and Presto Foods, which is owned by Performance Food Group, concerning the 2019 payroll tax required by its 2017 Community Reinvestment Area agreement.

Brock said the MOU structures the 2019 penalty payment of $15,000 as a three-year donation of $5,000 a year to Monroe’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display.

ExploreMonroe business gets tax deal for expansion

Presto Foods received a five-year, 50% CRA property tax abatement for a 35,000 square-foot expansion. The tax abatement agreement also included payroll requirements to be met each year.

The company can avoid a penalty by paying the city an amount equal to the abated property taxes for that year, Brock said. If the penalty is not paid, the company will default on the CRA agreement, which council can revoke.

He said the company didn’t move some staff to the Monroe location for tax purposes, which caused it to miss its payroll requirement. It expects to meet the requirement in the future.

ExploreMonroe council officially revokes tax deal for Rivertown Brewery

Council will consider final approval of the agreement at its Feb. 23 meeting.

Councilman Todd Hickman said Rivertown Brewery Company did not get a similar deal before council revoked their tax abatement last year.

“What are we going to do in the future?” Hickman asked.

Explore‘It’s really nasty to do this to a local business’: Monroe to revoke tax deal for Rivertown Brewery

“They have been a good business partner with the city,” said Councilwoman Christina McElfresh. “We’re trying to work with them.”

Mayor Jason Frentzel said, “Presto was willing to work with the city. That was not the case with Rivertown. The communication was all one-sided from the city.

Last August, council revoked the five-year, 45% tax abatement with Rivertown for defaulting on tax payments and employee counts.

ExploreMonroe could change tax deal for brewery after missed payment

At that time, Rivertown owed $72,370 in unpaid taxes and payments not made as part of a plan for previous lapses in payment. On May 8, 2020, Monroe filed a second tax lien against the property at 6550 Hamilton-Lebanon Road.

Rivertown had a payment plan with Butler County for previous unpaid property taxes. As a result of the nonpayment and a failure to make the April 2020 payment, the existing Butler County payment plan for previously due taxes that had not been paid was no longer valid.

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