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City Council Approves Three Tax Deals, Tables Expansion Proposal

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Columbus City Council last night approved legislation giving the development director the authority to negotiate the creation of a tax-increment financing district for fast food operator White Castle to expand its corporate offices on Goodale Street and create 300 housing units. The deal would require the firm to make payments to fund infrastructure improvements. Columbus City Schools wpi;d get a percentage of the payments equal to the property taxes being abated. Columbus development director Steve Schoney says the profitable company needs a public subsidy to make the project a reality.

Council also approved a 10-year, 2.8 million dollar property tax break for Meritex Columbus to construct a warehouse near Rickenbacker Airport, creating 22 jobs. The city also giving glue-maker Franklin International and a subsidiary a 10-year, 509 thousand dollar property tax break to create a research lab on Hosack Street, creating five jobs. Such tax deals have drawn criticism from a growing number of citizens in recent years, including local activist Joe Motil.

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Council development committee chair Elizabeth Brown responded this way.

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The panel also tabled for a week a plan to ask voters to expand the size of council.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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