Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed into law a total property tax exemption for Nationwide Arena.
Jim Letizia reports.
State lawmakers approved the measure while wrapping up work in the lame-duck session last week. The Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority began asking for the exemption more than a year ago. Without the exemption, the Authority would owe more than 4 million dollars a year on the facility, which has been valued at 143 million dollars. Most of that tax would go to the Columbus City Schools. The Columbus Board of Education voted to support the exemption in exchange for an annual payment of nearly 590 thousand dollars. Despite Columbus taxpayers voting against using public money to build sports facilities, Franklin County and the City of Columbus approved purchasing the arena in 2010 for 42 million casino tax revenue dollars as part of the bailout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. That allowed the Authority to take control of the arena in 2011.