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Columbus To Require "Living Wage" In Future Tax Break Deals

Dec 10, 2018

Columbus City Council tonight is expected to approve legislation establishing a minimum 15 dollar hourly wage requirement for all jobs created through the city's tax incentive programs. 

Sponsoring Council member Elizabeth Brown says the formal codification will help better connect residents to jobs that pay a wage that can support a family. 

Brown says the living wage proposal was recommended following a review of the city's tax incentive policies. A growing number of cities, including Seattle, have placed living wages into law or their tax incentive policies and have reported economic growth as a result. The city hopes the move will be of particular benefit to lower-income neighborhoods, where businesses often choose to locate because of lower labor costs. Columbus Development Director Steve Schoeny:

Under the proposal, the wage will be reassessed every three years to ensure it keeps pace with any cost of living increases. Developers who receive municipal tax breaks are among the largest financial donors to the campaigns of Brown and other elected city officials.