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Columbus Council To Vote On Tax Break Recommendations

Paul Sableman

Columbus City Council votes Monday night to approve the recommendations of a board that oversees business tax incentives.

City leaders face growing criticism over deals trading tax breaks for development or hiring promises.

However, the latest report from the Tax Incentive Review Council (TIRC) shows the vast majority of already-approved projects are meeting or exceeding expectations.

In total, the panel reviewed 67 agreements. Of those, it found 44 running smoothly, but 20 required follow-up. It recommended City Council amend or dissolve seven of those deals.

Council member Emmanuel Remy says the practice shouldn’t be entirely abandoned over the handful of companies falling short.

“I mean that’s exactly why the TIRC was formed,” Remy says. “A multi-jurisdictional approach to ensuring people are doing what they said they were going to do, so we’re excited that so many of them are over-performing.”

The bulk of Columbus’ operating budget comes from local income tax receipts, and Remy argues tax incentives play an important role in maintaining that revenue.

“It’s critical,” Remy says. “New jobs that are based in the city of Columbus are absolutely critical to our income tax revenues. It’s what makes our city operate.”

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.