Worthington News

Worthington, Perry Township

Council OKs JEDZ; trustees to vote Jan. 13


Worthington City Council has approved its part of a joint economic development zone (JEDZ) with Perry Township.

With no comment from the public, council unanimously approved the agreement Jan. 6.

The Perry Township trustees will vote on the issue Jan. 13.

If approved, the agreement will allow Perry Township to place an income-tax issue on the May ballot. Everyone in the township will vote on the 2.5-percent tax, which would be levied on those working in the township and on net profits from all township businesses.

State law prohibits townships for levying income taxes. The JEDZ state legislation was written to allow townships to get around that law by partnering with a city that imposes an income tax.

Businesses are scattered throughout the township, which shares a boundary with Worthington in the Linworth area. Parts of the township are in the Worthington school district.

Brookside and Worthington Hills elementary schools are in Perry Township, and employees would pay income tax to the township if township voters approve the measure.

Brookside and Worthington Hills Country Clubs also are in Perry Township.

Worthington also provides dispatching and fire protection to the township.

"This JEDZ truly is a sign of our natural partnership," said Chet Chaney, Perry Township trustee.

If the income tax is approved, projects already on the agenda will be done, he said.

Those include improvements to the intersection of West Dublin-Granville and Linworth roads, water issues on Bethel Road, construction of a multiuse path along Snouffer Road and drainage issues throughout the township.

The JEDZ would be governed by a board of directors appointed by Worthington and Perry Township.

If the income tax is approved, it is projected to raise about $292,000 a year.

Seventy percent, or $196,246, would go to Perry Township; Worthington would receive 20 percent, or $56,000; and 10 percent, or $28,000, would go to the JEDZ board for such expenses as insurance, legal assistance and audits.