CCS Board Approves Deal With With Convention Authority
The Columbus City Schools Board has voted unanimously to accept an annual payment of $586,000 from the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority in lieu of property taxes on Nationwide Arena.
The agreement lends the board's support to the Facilities Authority's plan to approach the General Assembly with a request for a 100 percent tax abatement on the now publicly owned property. The initial tax abatement with the previous owners of the Arena - Nationwide Insurance and the Dispatch Printing Group, expires December 31. If the requested exemption is approved, as it has been for 15 other publicly owned sports facilities in the state, the school district would receive nothing for the Arena, which has has an official value of 143 million dollars. If the request is not granted, Facilities Authority director Don Brown has promised to appeal the valuation of the Arena, and school board president Gary Baker noted the district could face a long and costly battle, with an uncertain outcome. Under terms of the agreement, the district will receive the 586-thousand dollars annual payment for as long as the Facilities Authority owns the Arena, plus use of the space and support services four times a year for commencement ceremonies.