Actions

Cincinnati eyes $1.7M subsidy for Great American Life Insurance expansion

New details emerge from public records
GE_Banks.jpg
Posted at 11:04 AM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 18:49:52-04

CINCINNATI — The city of Cincinnati has offered a $1.4 million forgivable loan and tax credits worth $278,000 to Great American Life Insurance Co., which last week announced an $8 million expansion project that would fill two floors of a 10-story office building at the Banks.

The preliminary offer is yet to be finalized and it would require approval by city council, spokesman Rocky Merz said.

But the March 9 offer letter, obtained by the WCPO 9 I-Team in a public record request, shows some evolving details about how the city is responding to job-creation deals in an age of remote working arrangements.

“Prior to recommending the project to city council, the city would like to work with the company to better understand the number of employees in the office versus working from home within the city,” Cincinnati Economic Development Director Markiea Carter wrote to Great American President Mark Muething. “It is expected that this retention and creation of jobs in the city of Cincinnati will yield at least $666,666 in annual income tax revenue.”

Great American Life is the former annuities subsidiary of American Financial Group Inc., which sold the company for $3.5 billion last year to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. State officials said Ohio was competing against Kentucky and Massachusetts to retain its 633 local jobs. It offered a $1.5 million grant and a tax credit worth $1.8 million over nine years, in exchange for the company’s $8 million investment to relocate employees to the GE Global Operations building at 191 Rosa Parks Street.

If finalized, the Cincinnati incentives would bring to $5 million the total value of all public investments in the project.

State officials also revealed new details about GE’s Global Operations Center, which was one of the most heavily subsidized buildings in Cincinnati’s history when it opened in 2016. City officials projected at the time that GE would grow employment to more than 2,000. But GE never achieved the terms of its Ohio tax-credit agreement to create 1,800 jobs. In February, GE told the state it has 954 employees in the building, down from 1,441 in 2017.