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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 24, 2021
CONTACT: Madeline Stocker (860) 808-7857
COLUMBUS, OH- After a new study found that Short North developers were receiving unnecessarily large tax breaks from politicians in City Hall, Will Petrik, independent Democratic candidate for City Council, called for more transparency and more support for working families, neighborhoods and our schools.
“Our development policy needs to be guided by transparent benchmarks,” said Will Petrik, a Yes We Can endorsed candidate for City Council. “Will it bring living wage jobs to people in the neighborhood? Will it create new housing that’s affordable for people in the neighborhood? If we, as taxpayers, are subsidizing new development, we need to know that it’s going to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Ever since the Easton tax giveaway, more and more people are questioning how these deals are actually benefiting our city.”
Petrik believes the millions of dollars lost to the city in these development deals be allocated to support city schools, job training, childcare and improvements in neighborhoods that need it most.
“Working families and small businesses are paying their fair share to support education, safety, public health and neighborhood development,” Petrik said. “Why aren’t we asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share, too? The people of Columbus are getting a bad deal while a few wealthy developers are making huge profits. Our schools are struggling and seniors on a fixed income and renters are being pushed out of their neighborhoods.”
The study proposed redirecting money currently going to developers into a fund for affordable housing. According to the study, this adjustment to abatement incentives in the Short North and similar neighborhoods could provide 50 million toward affordable housing over the next ten years.
“We need to take the information from this study and take action to benefit the city,” Petrik said. “Politicians at City Hall are beholden to wealthy special interests that want to maintain the status quo. It’s time to end tax handouts to wealthy developers in the Short North, downtown and Easton.”