Columbus City Council has given Huntington National Bank a tax break in exchange for creating an additional 500 jobs at its downtown location and other points throughout the city.

Columbus City Council has given Huntington National Bank a tax break in exchange for creating an additional 500 jobs at its downtown location and other points throughout the city.

The agreement, passed June 28, calls for a 35-percent break on personal income tax on new employees over the next seven years, saving the locally based bank an estimated $1.71-million over the duration of the incentive.

"We worked really hard with the city to come up with an incentive everyone's comfortable with," Huntington spokeswoman Maureen Brown said.

Council voted 6-0 on the matter. Eileen Paley was absent from the meeting.

Huntington also extended its lease on the building at 41 S. High St. to 2030 and will spend an estimated $7-million on improvements to the building and new furniture and fixtures.

At a press conference in May, Huntington president and CEO Steve Steinour emphasized the bank's commitment to Columbus. Huntington, which has had a presence downtown since 1866, paid $12-million for naming rights for the new ballpark in the Arena District.

Mayor Michael B. Coleman was pleased with council's decision, his spokesman Dan Williamson said.

"Huntington has been part of the Columbus business community, the Columbus civic community and the downtown skyline for a long time, and it's gratifying to know they're going to be here for at least two more decades," the mayor said through a prepared statement.

"By promising to bring 500 new jobs to Columbus over the next five years on top of the 3,600 already employed by Huntington in Columbus, Huntington is playing a major role in our city's economic recovery."

gseman@thisweeknews.com