State and local officials are working to keep Little Tikes Co. in Hudson, Ohio, the toymaker's home for nearly 40 years and it appears that an incentive package could come together soon.
On June 29, the Ohio Department of Development announced a tax credit for parent company MGA Entertainment Inc. of Van Nuys, Calif., to support a $5.8 million expansion project in Hudson that's expected to create 63 new jobs and retain 398 positions at Little Tikes' rotational molding factory and headquarters.
The 55 percent job-creation tax credit is valued at $134,228 over seven years.
If MGA accepts the proposal, Little Tikes would be required to maintain operations in Hudson for 14 years, state officials said.
Little Tikes General Manager Tom Richmond said in a statement that company officials are very pleased with the tax-credit proposal.
But he added: The job-creation tax credit is just one part of a total economic package, of which Little Tikes is awaiting word from the state. Once we have the total package, which should be the end of July, we'll be able to make our decision.
Chuck Wiedie, the city of Hudson's economic development director, said local officials are working closely with the state to assist Little Tikes. The city has offered an income tax grant to the company, which would return to Little Tikes a portion of income tax paid by new employees, he said.
Wiedie said Little Tikes' application for the tax credit is a good sign that company officials want to remain in Hudson, where the company was founded in 1970.
This is the first step. There's still work to be done from the state and by the city. But it still has to come together, he said.
In 2008, Little Tikes explored selling its 122-acre campus and leasing back some buildings for its operations. The plan was shelved due to the lagging U.S. real estate market.