Jerome Township officials are giving a second chance to the prospect of working with Marysville to promote economic development in the region.
Following a nearly 50 minute executive session at Monday night’s meeting, the township trustees voted unanimously to authorize attorney Don Brosius to begin negotiations with Marysville to create a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD).
Officials have been working on a JEDD agreement for more than three years.
To create a JEDD, one or more municipalities and a township agree to work together to develop township land for commercial or industrial purposes. This contract can specify details such as how taxes are levied and shared, annexation prohibitions, zoning and water rates. The benefit to the municipality is that it gets a portion of the taxes levied in the JEDD without annexing the land and generally it has the ability to expand water and sewer service to the area. The agreement benefits the township because it does not lose prime development land, it can still collect property taxes as well as a portion of the income tax collected, and it receives water and sewer service needed to develop the area.
The communities then vote on the agreement and it must pass in each community for the JEDD to be approved.
In December 2016, Jerome Township officials passed a resolution agreeing to a JEDD with the city of Marysville. The agreement allowed the city to impose its income tax on any commercial or industrial development within the JEDD. It did not include a map or detail the district boundaries, though at the time Marysville City Manager Terry Emery said it was large enough that, “any new development within the township will fall within the JEDD area.”
According to that agreement, Marysville would provide water and sewer services to the district and any employees of new businesses in the district would be subject to the city’s 1.5 percent income tax. If the city income tax changes, so will the tax imposed by the JEDD.
Officials at that time said the JEDD would apply only to new businesses in the area, not existing businesses in the township.
Marysville, Jerome Township, Union County, businesses in the district and employees in the district would have representation on a five-person administrative board.
According to the December 2016 agreement, 55 percent of the revenue generated by the JEDD would be used for infrastructure construction and improvement in the district or benefitting the district, eliminating much of the concern about development in the area. An additional 10 percent of the revenue will go to the Union County Community Improvement Corporation for economic development marketing and 5 percent will be used for board administrative purposes. The remaining 30 percent will be split between the city and the township. The city would administer the income tax and its collection.
At the time, officials said they did not know what revenue to expect from the district.
While Marysville officials initially praised the JEDD creation, city council never approved it. After the deal was negotiated, Marysville officials said they wanted to see the district split. City officials said they wanted one JEDD east of U.S. 33, which would be negotiated between Marysville, Jerome Township and Dublin. A second district, west of U.S. 33, would not include Dublin.
At Monday’s meeting, township officials said they do not intend to negotiate a two-JEDD solution.
“It is my understanding this will be one JEDD,” said trustee Joe Craft.
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