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Columbus Council Lines Up Votes On Development Districts

Columbus Crew and city officials at the groundbreaking for the team's new downtown stadium on Oct. 10, 2019.
Adora Namigadde
/
WOSU
Columbus Crew and city officials at the groundbreaking for the team's new downtown stadium on Oct. 10, 2019.

Columbus City Council votes Monday on a slate of new districts where developers can divert property taxes to efforts like infrastructure improvements.  One is tied to Confluence Village, next to the new Columbus Crew stadium.

The agreements are for new tax increment financing areas, or TIFs. The development deals relate to property taxes like tax abatements, but they operate differently.

Instead of a property owner paying no taxes on their improvements as they would with an abatement, under a TIF, they pay into a fund that directly benefits that district.

So the company building Confluence Village, a mixed-use development adjacent to the downtown Crew stadium, will pay the same amount of money it would have if those improvements faced property taxes.

Michael Stevens, who leads the Columbus’s Department of Development, says those dollars, except the funding earmarked for schools, will go to help finance infrastructure work in that district.

“Their tax burden is not being reduced,” Stevens explained in a public hearing last week. “It is being redirected to those infrastructure improvements that are critical for the development, and the investment that really results in jobs and improved infrastructure around the development.”

City Council will also take up a handful of other TIF districts downtown, in Easton, Polaris and Rickenbacker.