When the city offers tax abatements to major corporations and developers, those companies do not have to pay their fair share in taxes. The responsibility for that tax revenue is then passed onto working families and small businesses. A $68 million tax break with additional tax abatements for housing, in return for $4.25 million for “redevelopment efforts” in Linden is a shameful display of negotiation. Easton, an economic staple of the State, is not going to leave Columbus if they do not get a tax break.16 We must be more strategic with our tax abatements. Businesses decide to locate themselves in cities for a long list of reasons other than abatements, such as low crime rates, good public schools, and a young, educated, professional workforce. We should focus on improving in these areas instead of giving away resources to large corporations that are already financially stable.
- Closely monitor opportunities given to those who make campaign contributions to the mayor
- Require tax abatements to be a net positive for the residents of Columbus
- Involve key stakeholders (residents, educators, faith leaders, and others) in the decision-making process
Housing and Development
Columbus is the second most economically segregated city in the country. In order for all of our residents to prosper, we must have shared spaces where cultural exchanges are encouraged and all residents have access to the same resources. We must ensure that our growth as a city does not come at the expense of our elderly and low-income residents.
- Protect existing public housing
- Demand new housing developments in downtown and Columbus’ neighborhood improvement zones be mixed income housing
- Invest in programs that allow residents to build “sweat equity” in vacant lots or vacant homes, leading to future ownership.17