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Council Accepts Review of Columbus Job Creating Programs

Strategic Development Investment Partnerships Create Short and Long-term Benefits for the Community

[COLUMBUS-OH] According to the Columbus Tax Incentive Review Council (TIRC) report, Columbus' economic development efforts brought $188 million in net new payroll revenue and $978 million in private real property investments to the City in 2018. 

As the City of Columbus competes regionally and nationally to attract new companies, help local businesses expand to create new, living-wage jobs, it participates in an annual, independent review of incentive programs to ensure transparency and accountability. On Monday, October 7, 2019, Council officially accepted the TIRC report and recommendations as a part of the annual process. 

“This review is an important part of the process,” said Councilmember Emmanuel V. Remy. “Having an independent, critical eye on these projects keeps the companies accountable to the City and the community.”

Council’s acceptance of the report allows the Department of Development to formally continue their evaluation and then propose changes to incentive agreements for companies that are not reaching job creation or investment goals.

Annually, the TIRC conducts a performance audit of each Enterprise Zone (EZ), Community Revitalization Area (CRA) and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement and submits its findings to Council. This year, the committee reviewed 67 agreements and recommended that 44 agreements continue. It also recommended that twenty (20) agreements were allowed to proceed with either amendments or staff follow-up. Three (3) agreements are set to expire, in good standing, at the end of 2019.

In 2018, the portfolio of companies created, invested and retained:

  • $188 million in new annual payroll (143 percent of goal);
  • Invested over $978 million in real property improvements (138 percent of goal);
  • Created and retained a total of 10,564 jobs;


Incentive programs create two avenues to generate a community benefit. The first and immediate impact is job creation. For example, in 2007, DSW, Inc. received a 10-year/75 percent tax abatement. After the abatement period, the company added $36.8 million in payroll while creating 549 real jobs for Columbus residents.



Companies invested over $978 million in real property improvements in 2018. The City and local school districts often see significant returns in the form of increased real property tax revenues once the abatement period ends.

Alliance Data Systems

In 2007, Alliance Data Systems, Inc. received a 10-year/75 percent tax abatement. In the year prior to the abatement, Columbus City Schools (CCS) received $18,914.59 in real property tax revenue. In 2018, the year after the abatement expired, CCS received $646,213.55 in revenue and will continue to receive that annually going forward.

“The comprehensive benefit of incentive programs is two-fold. The jobs created placed money in the hands of residents today,” Remy continued. “The long-term real estate investments transform neighborhoods, increase property values, and add property tax revenue to help fund schools and other city resources in the years ahead.”

Alliance Data Systems