HPM met a Dec. 1 deadline to make its down payment — a total of $165,000 — on taxes owed to Morrow County, Ohio, and now a threatened foreclosure has moved to the ``back burner,'' County Treasurer Daniel Green said.
Under an agreement with Morrow County, HPM, a division of Taylor's Industrial Services LLC, will make payments of $12,600 a month to work off back taxes, Green said. The company also has to stay current on all ongoing taxes, he said. As HPM continues to follow the payment plan, the county will waive future penalties and interest.
Green called the sizeable down payment a good sign.
``It's good news for everybody. That's my feeling,'' he said. ``They're making the effort here and we're very glad to see that. It's jobs here in Morrow County that we definitely need, so it saves jobs and it saves the company.''
Before the down payment, HPM owed more than $900,000 in unpaid taxes to the county.
Based in Mount Gilead, Ohio, HPM makes injection molding machines, sheet extrusion lines and die-casting machines, and has become a major supplier of machined components to the wind-energy business.
Christopher Filos, the top executive of Taylor's Industrial Services and HPM, said the company is looking forward and wants to work with Morrow County. ``We made our initial payment like we were supposed to do. We have a payment plan with them, which we'll adhere to. It's cut and dry. It's all behind us now, and we're looking forward,'' Filos said.
Of the $900,000-plus that HPM owed the county before making the down payment, about 90 percent of the total was for back personal property tax, which covers factory machinery and inventory. In recent years Ohio has phased out the tangible personal property tax for business to help the state's manufacturers — but that cannot be applied retroactively.
The state of Ohio has offered HPM $4 million in low-interest loans to buy equipment to make large metal wind-turbine components. State officials have said HPM has to make payments on tax money owed in order to get the state money.