[COLUMBUS] The Columbus Tax Incentive Review Council (TIRC) met recently to review the performance of the Department of Development’s property tax abatement portfolio and Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts. The review found that the City again exceeded projected and committed job growth and payroll numbers for 2017. New private investment by companies reached $967 million.
“We are constantly working to help companies grow, inspire private investment and create more opportunities for residents to find good jobs,” said Columbus City Councilmember Jaiza Page. “This important annual review confirms that incentives can spur significant investment in the City.”
The TIRC reviewed 65 Enterprise Zone and Community Reinvestment Area agreements. The companies:
Created 2,769 jobs (181% of goal);
Created $223 million in new annual payroll (172% of goal);
Retained 6,277 jobs (129% of goal); and
Invested over $967 million in real property improvements (138% of goal).
“Through our tax abatements, companies have significantly increased new jobs and retained existing jobs in Columbus, performing beyond expectations,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “This is great news for our City, where job growth is a key indicator of our continued success.”
As a result of its review, the TIRC has recommended that 58 Agreements continue, and of the 58, 40 will not need staff follow-up beyond standard reporting. The Council recommended that staff follow-up on 17 agreements; and recommended one agreement to be dissolved. One agreement is in the process of dissolving and five agreements have expired.
“Incentives are only one tool in Columbus’ kit, but it is critical that we have the means to compete regionally and nationally,” said Council President Shannon Hardin. “We are focused on providing safe neighborhoods, infrastructure and a high quality of life for workers and residents. The companies are asked to create and retain jobs and invest in their property. Seeing nearly a billion dollars in private investment builds confidence in the entire economy.”
Many of the companies within the current City of Columbus portfolio have exceeded their job, payroll and capital investment commitments:
DSW, Inc. received a 75%/10-year Enterprise Zone for a $6.5 million investment into a new headquarters on Fifth Avenue. The company has more than exceeded its attainment levels related to the project, with a 732% attainment level for creating 474 more jobs than the original commitment of 75. DSW also reached an 820% attainment level for payroll and has invested nearly $82 million over the original $6.5 million investment commitment.
Time Warner Cable received a 75%/10-year Enterprise Zone for the new construction of an office facility on Olentangy River Road for $19 million. The company has exceeded its initial commitment of 153 jobs by an additional 439 jobs and an attainment level of 387% for job creation levels. The wages for those jobs has exceeded the original commitment by 311% and the $19 million investment was exceeded by an additional $30 million.
NetJets, LLC received a 75%/10-year Enterprise Zone for a $15 million investment near the airport. The company exceeded its projected job commitment of 19 jobs by 800% and created a total of 152 full-time positions. The investment level of $15 million was also exceeded by an additional $5.8 million.
The Council recommended dissolving tax incentives for two companies.
The Fireproof Partners LLC project involved new investment in real property improvements and a commitment to create 24 full-time positions by December 31, 2016. The project received a 50%/15-year abatement for a mixed-use redevelopment of a vacant facility in the Short North area. The company failed to meet the City’s minimum requirement of creating full-time jobs that paid $12 per hour.
The project was recommended to be dissolved by the Department of Development. The TIRC supported the Department’s recommendation.
Tower 10, LLC is a real estate investment group that redeveloped the LeVeque Tower at 50 W. Broad Street. The project received a 75%/10-year Enterprise Zone toward the office and commercial portions of the redevelopment to run from 2017 through 2026.
The company has requested that the Enterprise Zone be dissolved as the project is now abated through the Downtown CRA.