City, Berkshire look at 2nd JEDD


The city of Delaware and Berkshire Township may collaborate again to create another special taxing district.

Discussions of a second Joint Economic Development District between the city and the township are in the very early stages, said Berkshire Township Trustee Rod Meyers.

“We don’t even know where the JEDD’s going to be,” he said in a phone call to The Gazette Wednesday afternoon.

Due to Ohio law, townships cannot levy an income tax except through partnerships with cities such as Delaware. The first JEDD allows the city to administer its 1.85-percent income tax at the Tanger Outlet Mall near the Interstate 71 and U.S. Route 36-State Route 37 interchange.

Four percent of the gross revenue would go to Delaware for administrative services and 1 percent would go to the JEDD board. The remaining dollars would be split between the city of Delaware and the township.

Originally, Sunbury would have received 30 percent of the net revenue but decided to not proceed with the agreement. The township and the city then agreed to split Sunbury’s share in half. Berkshire ended up with 60 percent of the net, while Delaware would receive 40.

Typically, a city’s share is in the range of 25 to 30 percent, City Manager Tom Homan said.

“We recognize the circumstances that got us to 40 percent were pretty unique,” he said.

The city’s Finance Committee have started discussions about the share for the proposed second JEDD. Berkshire proposed the city would get 18 percent, which would include the administrative fee.

But city made a counter offer for a 25 percent, plus the 4 percent for the administrative fee.

“The reasoning behind this is that collection and enforcement of the first JEDD by the City has been time intensive, and the committee did not want to change that fee,” city spokesman Lee Yoakum said.

Meyers said discussions about the share split were premature as the JEDD lines haven’t been drawn. As for the city’s counter offer, “I’m not sure we’re going to agree with it,” he said.

“It’s too early in the process.”

The second JEDD, Meyers said, would help continue road improvements and attract new residential and commercial developments.

The city started to receive income tax payments from more than 90 percent of the stores at the mall as as many tenants were not aware of the tax obligation to the city.

Since the mall opened in late June, total revenue collected for 2016 was $145,399.05. Berkshire received $82,877.47, while Delaware received $55,251.64 for its share plus $5,815.95 for fiscal services. The JEDD board received $1,454.99.

City officials expect to receive $70,000 to $80,000 in revenue share from the mall, which could be used to renovate the Point at the intersection of Routes 36 and 37.

By Brandon Klein

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Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

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