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County approves Baker Boy expansion tax exemption

Baker Boy will not have to pay property taxes on a $5.25 million addition to its building for five years as the Stark County Commission approved an exemption application during a Tuesday meeting.

Without the exemption, the company would have to pay an estimated $70,668 in property taxes on the expansion every year, according to the application.

However, the decision wasn't unanimous as Commissioner Russ Hoff voted against it.

It's not unusual for the county to grant exemptions but the last ones granted were not 100 percent exemptions, he said after the meeting.

"I just would like to set a precedent in the county for businesses like this," Hoff said. "Expansions are great -- it's good for the county, it's good for everyone. I just think that everybody should be treated alike."

The last two approved exemptions commissioners were also for five years, but only two years were 100 percent exemptions, he said. The third year is a 75 percent exemption, the fourth is 50 percent and the fifth year is a 25 percent exemption.

Commissioner Ken Zander said he feels exemptions should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

"Each company comes in and they make their request," Zander said.

Nobody came to the meeting to oppose Baker Boy's application, he added.

"I guess what I'm basing my vote on was the request that was made and the discussion," Zander said. "I look at it from an economic point of view that they're making a significant investment in their company which directly affects our community and it falls into the category of maintaining existing jobs and I think that is beneficial to the region and the county."

Gaylon Baker, executive vice president of Stark Development Corp., spoke in support of the exemption saying it is important to keep diversity in the economy "and this project does just that."

Tax exemptions are granted to make building in Stark County more attractive, Hoff said.

"Anytime that they do an expansion or come to our community, put a business in our community, it's just an incentive for them," Hoff said. "It's something that's been done for years, so we just kind of follow the trend I guess."

Guy Moos, president of Baker Boy attended the meeting and many commissioners praised the project.

"We're excited," he said.

In other matters, the commission approved the county's 2011 budget of $14 million.