Delaware City Council approved the second Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) between the city and Berkshire Township during Monday’s meeting. Council voted in favor of the JEDD with a 6-0 vote; Vice Mayor Kent Shafer was absent from the meeting.
Under the proposed “JEDD 2,” the city will administer and collect the 1.85 percent city income tax for 575 acres directly north of the Tanger Outlets and stretching north across U.S. Route 36, up past Wilson Road. Under new law, residential development will be allowed in the JEDD, meaning both businesses and residents living within the district will be subject to the tax.
Under Ohio law, townships are not able to levy an income tax, necessitating a municipality to enter into a JEDD in order for the township to receive tax revenue. Sunbury declined Berkshire’s offer for the original JEDD in 2015.
Currently, Delaware collects taxes from workers at Tanger Outlets as part of the first JEDD contract with the township, agreed upon in 2015, with the city receiving 40 percent of that revenue. That JEDD covers 215 acres that extend directly east of the mall and then north along South Galena Road to U.S. Route 36.
Bill Holtry, chairman of the Berkshire Township Board of Trustees, said recently the first JEDD resulted in a $75,378 quarterly check for the township.
The City of Delaware will be paid a 4 percent administrative fee from the gross revenue of the JEDD for its tax collecting services and, in return, will receive 20 percent of the net revenue generated by the JEDD. The original proposal from the township called for an 18 percent share for the city, which was countered by the city with a suggested 25 percent before the 20 percent share was settled on.
In the event that the services rendered by the city exceed 4 percent of gross revenues, the parties would renegotiate the payments and come to a mutual agreement.
Like the revenue from the first JEDD, money generated from JEDD 2 could potentially be used for renovations of the Point at the intersection of state routes 36 and 37.
The new JEDD has been two years in the making. Last year, it was tabled in city council in order for Berkshire Township to collect signatures from businesses and property owners signifying their support of the JEDD. Councilwoman Lisa Keller said during discussions last year that she didn’t like the lack of representation those within the JEDD would have on the taxes they would be paying.
Acquiring the necessary petitions became a drawn-out task as the plans for Blue Horseshoe Ventures’ Planet Oasis development, which would be located within the district, fell apart. Several property owners said they would not support the JEDD petition until they received permission from Blue Horseshoe Ventures.
Once they were granted the release, the petitions were signed. The Berkshire Township Board of Trustees signed the paperwork at its April 22 meeting.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.