Columbus Council Approves Two Tax Breaks, Wage Theft Crackdown
One week after cutting 41.5 million dollars from the city budget due to income tax revenue declines, Columbus City Council last night approved a pair of property tax breaks for two profitable companies.
HQ Office gets a 4.15 million dollar, ten year tax break to build a 19.2 million dollar speculative office building on Dublin-Granville Road. The developer is a subsidiary of Hamilton Crossing, whose officers include Don Casto and other big developers. That drew the ire of veteran city hall critic and former Council candidate Joe Motil, who says such tax breaks are harmful in a time when residents are suffering due to the COVID-19 related economic downturn:
And adhesives maker Franklin International is getting a 754 thousand dollar, ten year tax break to build a new facility and expand current operations on Hosack Street. In 2017, Council gave the company a 10-year, 509 thousand dollar property tax break to create a research lab on Hosack Street. Columbus Development Director Mike Stevens says approval of findings from a review panel last night demonstrate that such tax breaks help the city:
Council also approved a measure increasing penalties for companies engaging in wage theft, including not paying workers overtime, minimum wages and prevaling wages. Also covered are businesses that misclassify workers as independent contractors. Such firms will be ineligible to receive city tax breaks, city contracts, building and business permits, and commercial licenses for four years. They also can't work on any development site getting tax breaks. Council member Rob Dorans sponsored the measure:
Dorans is also chief legal counsel for the Affiliated Construction Trades of Ohio. Several union representatives spoke last night in support of the measure. No one spoke in opposition.