By Rick Palsgrove
At Groveport City Council’s Feb. 13 meeting, Mayor Lance Westcamp and council presented Groveport Madison Schools officials with an income tax revenue sharing check for $1.1 million.
“We started this partnership between the Groveport community and Groveport Madison Schools many years ago,” said Westcamp. “It’s a great partnership and it helps the schools.”
Groveport Finance Director Jason Carr said the income tax revenue sharing agreement between the city and Groveport Madison began in 2005 and since its inception the city has shared more than $21 million with the school district.
According to Carr, the check is generated from income tax withholdings for companies that may operate within the city’s Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) #1-5. He said the city issues income tax revenue sharing checks to Groveport Madison Schools once per year.
Per the Ohio Department of Development, a CRA is “an economic development tool administered by municipal and county government that provides real property tax exemptions for property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings. Community Reinvestment Areas are areas of land in which property owners can receive tax incentives for investing in real property improvements.”
Groveport Madison Schools Treasurer Felicia Drummey said the money from the income tax revenue sharing agreement will go into the school district’s general fund and that there are no restrictions on its use.
“This money is important because when property taxes are abated the school loses that tax revenue,” said Drummey. “As the city tax base grows from the resulting new development, it receives income taxes from the new workers and city revenue grows. So when the city generously shares their growth in income tax with the school district it replaces the real estate tax revenue lost from abatement without placing any additional tax burden on property owners. It helps balance things out.”
Groveport Madison Superintendent Jamie Grube said the district is appreciative of the district’s partnership with the city.
“It helps support what we do,” said Grube. “We all work together.”
Groveport Madison Board of Education President LaToya Dowdell-Burger added, “The income tax sharing agreement with the city of Groveport helps to protect the school district from a loss of revenue due to negotiated tax abatements between the city and the developers. We appreciate that, as our city leaders are looking to attract new commercial development opportunities, they also are looking out for the best interest of the school district.”