Township to move forward with JEDD
Prairie Township will be moving forward in its Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) plan after holding a public hearing on Sept. 8.
The township is forming a JEDD as a way to bring private sector businesses and institutions into the partnership that will be working on projects designated to improve the business climate and quality of life on and around its West Broad Street corridor.
These projects include: increased law enforcement, improvement of the function and appearance of West Broad Street, redevelopment of underused and blighted land parcels, a community center, and organized “house-keeping” efforts in the area.
A JEDD is an entity that can be created by a township, jointly with one or more cities, and once it is created can levy taxes that are consistent with that cities income tax within that area only.
“An income tax would be collected at businesses that join the JEDD. Only individuals working at those locations would be affected. The law does not permit, nor would the township want, the JEDD to include areas where people live or otherwise impose income taxes on area residents,” said Tracy Hatmaker, township administrator.
A JEDD begins when a city and a township negotiate the details of the district in the form of a contract. Boundaries are determined based on the interest among landowners and businesses in the area, and the action is advertised and public hearings are held by all of the jurisdictions involved. Once hearings have been held, the contract is signed and it, along with maps, petitions, and other documents, is submitted to the county for approval.
The county reviews the submission to ensure it meets state legal requirements, and it is filed with the state. Upon completion of these steps, the JEDD is officially in place.
“The township created a community improvement corporation earlier this year to provide financial incentives to businesses that choose to sign up. We expect that, over time, many more businesses will decide to join the JEDD because of these incentives,” Hatmaker said.
The area directly affected includes the existing medical/dental offices at Norton Road and West Broad Street, the proposed medical offices at Pasadena and West Broad, and the Home Depot store at South Grener near West Broad and I-270.
“Our job in the next year will be to educate the businesses about how good a deal this will be for them and how it will create extra revenue for the area. It’s the best chance to have a community center with those funds,” Stephen Kennedy, the Board of Trustees Chairman said.
Hatmaker said their timeline has them filing the paperwork with the state and completing the JEDD just before Thanksgiving.
“This makes sense for a lot of reasons, but mainly this creates a revenue stream that mainly townships don’t have,” Kennedy said.