Toy maker Step2 of Streetsboro is in line to get state tax breaks to help pay for expansions that would generate about 200 jobs over three years in Portage and Ashland counties.
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority this week approved Job Creation Tax Credits for the two expansion projects, one in Streetsboro, where Step2 has a plant and its corporate offices, and the other in Perrysville, in Ashland, where the company also has a plant.
In Streetsboro, Step2 expects to create 125 full-time equivalent jobs, generating $3.3 million in new annual payroll — about $26,000 per worker.
In Perrysville, Step2 is planning to add 75 full-time equivalent positions, generating $2 million in new annual payroll.
Step2 manufactures and distributes children’s rotational molded toys and infant products, as well as plastic home and garden products.
Step2 officials could not be reached Tuesday for comment about the expansion plans and the tax deals, approved Monday by the Tax Credit Authority.
State documents say the company’s plans involve realigning existing manufacturing facilities to increase production capacity in both Streetsboro and Perrysville. Step2 also plans to build a warehouse in Streetsboro, bringing under one roof operations that are now in several temporary facilities.
For the Streetsboro expansion, Step2 got a 45 percent, six-year credit against state taxes. Step2 would need to keep its existing $19.5 million payroll there for six years to retain the credit.
For the Perrysville plant, the state authority also approved a 45 percent six-year credit, providing Step2 keeps the existing $7.7 million payroll there for the term of credit.
Ohio Department of Development spokeswoman Stephanie Mennecke said the total value of the tax credit for the Streetsboro project is $185,136, and the total for the Perrysville project is $119,016.
Step2 dates to 1991. It was started by local entrepreneur Thomas Murdough, who also is the founder of Step2 competitor Little Tikes, headquartered in Hudson.
Little Tikes is the older company, having been started by Murdough in 1970. He left Little Tikes in 1989 after it had been bought by Rubbermaid Inc. and went on to start the symbolically named Step2 in 1991.
Little Tikes is now owned by MGA Entertainment and Step2 is owned by a private equity company in New York.
In 2010, Step2 closed its manufacturing plant in Georgia, moving all of its production to Northeast Ohio.
Also Monday, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 50 percent, eight-year tax credit for Fuserashi International Technology Inc. of Liverpool Township in Medina County.
This company expects to create 17 full-time positions, generating $660,000 in additional annual payroll.
Fuserashi is a manufacturer of hot and cold formed precision metal products and fasteners, which are used primarily in vehicles.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.