After three decades under the Win-Win agreement with Columbus City Schools, Hilliard City Schools is ready to opt out of the agreement.

After three decades under the Win-Win agreement with Columbus City Schools, Hilliard City Schools is ready to opt out of the agreement.

In doing so, the boundaries of the district will be frozen, providing stability and saving $3.45 million during the time period the payments to Columbus City Schools are phased out through 2021, district officials said.

"Win-Win has served its time ... but its time has passed," Superintendent John Marschhausen told board members Aug. 22 in making a recommendation to approve an amendment allowing the district to exit the agreement.

Board members approved the resolution amending the Win-Win agreement, which has been in place since 1986 between Columbus City Schools and nine other suburban districts, many of which also recently renegotiated their deal.

Win-Win calls for suburban districts to pay Columbus City Schools 1 percent of new commercial- and industrial property-tax growth in areas of Columbus they served before 1986. Payments are capped at $1.15 million.

The tax agreement was struck to halt a potential turf war. Columbus had been annexing unincorporated areas for a few decades, but suburban school districts still served those territories. Protests sprung up in the suburbs against the possibility that Columbus schools could take them in. The General Assembly placed a six-year moratorium on land transfers before the 1986 negotiations and deal.

In exchange for keeping territory annexed to Columbus before 1986, the suburban districts -- Canal Winchester, Groveport Madison, Hamilton Local, New Albany-Plain Local, Westerville, Dublin, Hilliard and South-Western -- pay Columbus City Schools the portion of the tax growth from new commercial and industrial properties on that land. Gahanna-Jefferson is part of the deal but currently pays nothing. Columbus took in $5.5 million in 2015 from Win-Win.

Any land annexed by Columbus after 1986 goes directly to Columbus schools, and the districts have renewed the pact every six years until this year.

Read more in the Aug. 25 edition of ThisWeek Hilliard Northwest News.