State lawmakers wrapping up work in the lame-duck session on Thursday approved a total property tax exemption for Nationwide Arena.
The Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority began asking for the exemption more than a year ago. The exemption must still be signed by Governor John Kasich. Without it, FCCFA would owe more than 4 million dollars a year on the facility valued at 143 million. Most of that tax would go to the Columbus City Schools. The Columbus Board of Education last year supported 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 a bailout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. That allowed FCCFA to take control in 2011.