Worthington News

Perry trustees vote to put JEDZ issue on May ballot


Perry Township voters will decide if people who work in the township should pay a 2.5-percent income tax.

Township trustees approved placing a joint-economic-development-zone issue on the May ballot.

Ballot language will include both the JEDZ and the income tax, trustee Chet Chaney said.

The JEDZ, as it is called, would allow the township to use the city of Worthington's taxing authority to tax all businesses and employees in the township.

Without the JEDZ, townships aren't permitted to impose income taxes.

Trustees voted unanimously, with the only concern being that a resident said he did not have enough information on the issue.

Chaney said the issue had been mentioned at 20 township meetings; trustees met with all businesses; and it had been discussed at civic association meetings, in the township newsletter and in the local press.

"This is not a new issue," he said. "We have spread the information out there to as many people as possible."

Worthington City Council approved its part of the JEDZ on Jan. 6.

Under the agreement, Worthington and Perry Township would form a board to administer the income tax.

A 2.5-percent income tax is projected to raise about $292,000 a year. Of that, 70 percent, or $196,246, would go to the township; Worthington would receive 20 percent, or $56,000; and 10 percent, or $28,000, would go to the JEDZ board to cover such expenses as insurance and audits.

Chaney said if the tax is approved, projects already on the books would get done. Those include improvements to the intersection of state Route 161 and Linworth Road, water issues on Bethel Road, construction of a multiuse path along Snouffer Road and drainage issues throughout the township.