The Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce supports effective, business-friendly means of growing Upper Arlington's tax-base in order to support the exceptional municipal and educational services.

The Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce supports effective, business-friendly means of growing Upper Arlington's tax-base in order to support the exceptional municipal and educational services.

As long as municipalities need tax revenue to pay for the services they provide, maximizing tax revenue will remain a priority. That is a simple rationale for supporting a strong economic development program for Upper Arlington.

In a land-locked community like ours, economic development is not about expanding our borders; it's about making the most of the land we already have. In Upper Arlington, that isn't much, with only 2 percent of our 9.8 square miles dedicated to office use. Today, a significant portion of that precious land is in jeopardy.

If the AOL office complex on Henderson Road is rezoned from the existing use to allow for a nonprofit educational facility, a significant source of current and future tax revenue will be eliminated. A school operation on the AOL site will generate only one-tenth of the income tax revenue for the city that an office use would yield.

Consider these facts that show the importance of the AOL site:

The larger AOL building is 228,000 square feet, which is the largest building in the entire city of Upper Arlington. It is 3.5 times larger than the next general use office building. The two AOL buildings are 16 percent of the entire office space in Upper Arlington and 14 percent of the land zoned for office space. The AOL site is 15.8 acres - the largest office parcel in the entire city, and the largest commercial parcel after Kingsdale.
It is critical for everyone who appreciates our city's stellar services to support the thoughtful economic development policies we have in place. Since 1999, this economic development program has been active - and effective. Using a tool kit of incentives and creative planning, it has supported 60 new businesses and 12 existing companies, reaping a net annual revenue of $1.2-million while spending an average of only $303,979. This equates to a return on investment of $4.04:1.

The Upper Arlington Chamber of Commerce supports effective, business-friendly means of growing Upper Arlington's tax base in order to support the exceptional municipal and educational services provided by our city and school district.

In a letter sent to members in April, the Chamber's Business Advisory Council (BAC) shared its position in opposition to the Tree Of Life's proposed use of the AOL/CompuServe property. Our city, our business owners and our other public institutions have much to lose if the site use changes.

"Arlington has very few areas available for significant commercial development and use. If we want to support our public schools, provide infrastructure and keep our residential property taxes in line with surrounding communities, we need to see that the property that is zoned for commercial use be dedicated to commercial use," said Wesley Newhouse with Newhouse, Prophater, Letcher & Moots, LLC.