Senator Gayle Manning (left) and Avon Mayor James Smith recently appeared before the Senate Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee to testify in favor of SB 71 and SB 73.
Columbus - 
State Senator Gayle Manning (R- North Ridgeville) welcomed Avon Mayor James Smith to the Senate Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee yesterday, where he urged members to support Senate Bill 73, Manning's legislation that would permit Custom Culinary and other Ohio manufacturers of nonbeverage food items to purchase the beer and liquor needed for their products wholesale. "Unfortunately, the Ohio laws governing the purchase of these items are archaic, as companies cannot buy in bulk - instead they must purchase from retail establishments in quantities that are available in those places, which increases their costs and makes them less competitive," Smith said. "Custom Culinary has used hundreds of thousands of pounds of beer, wine and spirits during the past couple of years, and I am thankful that Senator Manning and Lt. Gov. Taylor have taken on this issue." Also testifying in favor of SB 73 were Ohio Department of Commerce Director David Goodman and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor. Manning and Mayor Smith also testified in support of Senate Bill 71, which would allow independent or non-affiliated minor league baseball teams to receive a property tax exemption similar to the one available to teams that are affiliated with a major league team. Avon is home to the Lake Erie Crushers baseball team and recently completed construction on a stadium for the team, which is a member of the Frontier League. "Although the Crushers are not affiliated with a major league team, the stadium and the team have helped spur additional economic development throughout Avon, and I believe that other communities could benefit from this type of development tool," Manning said. In addition to Crushers games, the stadium also hosts local high school games, concerts and charitable events. Providing a property tax exemption would not only help to ensure that the Crushers continue to call Avon home, but would also bolster additional development in the area. "I appreciate Mayor Smith coming to Columbus today to testify on behalf of these bills, which stand to encourage economic development in Ohio and make our state more business-friendly," Manning said.
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