Bexley News

Proposed JEDZ

Public invited to weigh in, learn about plan

A meeting July 30 will offer details prior to council's August vote on the issue

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Bexley City Council is scheduled to hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. July 30 to discuss legislation that would create a Joint Economic Development Zone with city of Powell and Liberty Township.

The meeting will be held in council chambers at Bexley City Hall, 2242 E. Main St.

Council held two previous readings of the JEDZ legislation in June and is scheduled to vote on the legislation Aug. 13. The special meeting will give residents an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback about the proposed JEDZ before that vote.

According to the legislation, the new entity will be called the "PBL Joint Economic Development Zone" -- for Powell, Bexley and Liberty Township -- and will facilitate economic growth "for the benefit of Powell, Bexley, Liberty and the state, and their residents."

Establishing a JEDZ would allow Powell and Liberty to collect income taxes at Bexley's rate of 2.5 percent until 2043. Bexley would act as the collecting agent.

If a JEDZ is created, income taxes would be collected from workers whose companies fall within the zone's boundaries, which include Liberty Township-owned properties, Olentangy Local Schools facilities located in Liberty Township, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Zoombezi Bay, Safari Golf Course, Del-Co Water, Delaware County Sanitary and Columbus State Community College's Delaware branch.

Powell officials estimate the proposed JEDZ would have an estimated annual payroll of $52 million. If the 2.5 percent income tax is applied, that would add an estimated $1.3 million to the JEDZ fund.

Those earnings would be allocated by percentage to the Regional Tax Income Agency, to projects within the JEDZ territory, to joint projects between Powell and Liberty and for legal fees, with some percentage going to Powell, Liberty and Bexley.

A JEDZ board made up of nine representatives -- three each from Bexley, Powell and Liberty Township -- would serve as advisers on how to spend the income tax earnings.

The JEDZ does not require a vote from Bexley residents, but Powell and Liberty Township residents must approve the JEDZ contract on the Nov. 5 ballot to create the district.

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