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Columbus Changing Tax Break Policies

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Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther and city officials are planning an overhaul of the city's tax incentive policies. 

Ginther says the city will make significant changes to support affordable, mixed-use housing development and better wages. 

Ginther says the city will only provide tax breaks for jobs that pay at least 15 dollars per hour. The city's existing post-1994 Community Reinvestment Areas will be placed in three categories based on the following criteria:  population growth, median household income growth, poverty rate, growth in median rent, housing vacancy rate and mortgage foreclosure rate. An outside consultant will track the data for each category annually. Columbus Development Director Steve Schoeny says the city will also be more transparent.  

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The changes stem from a consulting firm's study of the city's use of incentives and four public hearings on the firm's recommendations. The study found the city does not need to give developers tax breaks for projects in many highly-developed neighborhoods, such as the Short North. City officials plan additional hearings over the next couple months before submitting legislation to city council. The new policies are expected to take effect this summer.

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