The City of Westerville offers incentives to companies for job creation and income tax generation. One of the primary sources of revenue for the City is the employee payroll income tax. Obviously, the creation of new jobs and increase in tax revenue enables the City to maintain and increase its services to residents. Therefore, incentives may be offered on a case-by-case basis to companies to increase payrolls.
There are several types of incentives the City of Westerville uses to encourage job and payroll growth. Each program operates under specific State of Ohio codes, Westerville ordinance or administrative polices. Just because a company may meet legal minimum requirements for one or more programs, it does not mean the company will automatically be awarded an incentive. Additionally, all incentives negotiated with the Westerville City Administration must be ultimately approved by the Westerville City Council before taking effect.
In addition to providing financially based incentives, the Economic Development Department of the City acts as a conduit to programs and officials at the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD). The City’s Economic Development Coordinator will work with local companies to obtain incentives from Ohio and arrange meetings with ODOD personnel.
There are four basic incentives offered by the City of Westerville. These are: the Community Reinvestment Area Tax Abatement; the Income Tax Revenue Sharing Program; the Direct Loan/Grant Program; and the Linked Deposit Program. In addition to these standard incentives, the City may consider other less traditional incentives specifically geared toward an individual development project that will lead to significant job growth. These less traditional incentives may include assistance with infrastructure construction or enhancement, partial funding of amenities at the project site, and exploring creative funding options permitted by local and Ohio law.
Community Reinvestment Area Tax Abatements
The Community Reinvestment Area Tax Abatements, or “CRA abatements”, are used to reduce the structural taxes on new construction or significant rehabilitation of existing structures. To receive structural tax abatement, the structure must be in one of four designated CRA areas. The structure must be constructed or improved for commercial, office, or industrial uses and a significant employment increase must result from the investment. The project will also be judged on other factors such as its appropriateness for Westerville, the company’s historical performance, and potential for long-term viability in the community. Abatements are rarely given for retail projects, and currently are not given for single or multi-family residential projects. In concert with the City’s continued efforts to maintain the historic Uptown District as a strong and vital urban core, a multi-family project may be considered for an abatement through this program if the project is a component of a mixed use building project that contributes to the Uptown’s historic character and meets the criteria set forth in the Uptown Design Guidelines. For more information on the CRA program and a map of the current areas, follow the link in the Links box on this page.
Partial Return of Income Taxes Generated
Companies locating in existing buildings where no tax abatement is available may be eligible to receive an incentive based on the payroll taxes its employees pay to the City. The City could structure an incentive by which the company would receive at the end of each year a percentage of income taxes generated, for a definite number of years. The incentive is based on actual payroll taxes and is not tied to estimates.
Direct Loan/Grant Program
The Direct Loan/Grant Program is geared towards companies new to the community planning to bring a significant number of jobs or existing local companies expecting to have significant job growth. Loans of up to $100,000 are awarded interest free for up to five years. A company has the ability to have the principal of the loan reduced or completely converted to a grant, depending on how much tax revenue the company generates over the loan period.
Linked Deposit Program
Under the Linked Deposit Program, a company has the ability to lowers its interest rate on a bank loan acquired on the open market. For significant projects, the City of Westerville would deposit funds with the lender of the company’s choosing (a lender willing to participate in the program). The City funds deposited with the lender would, in effect, “buy down” the interest rate received by the company. This could significantly reduce the total amount of interest by the company on its loan. For more information on this program, please follow the link in the Links box on this page.
For more information about these incentive programs, or other ways in which the City of Westerville could assist your relocation or expansion in our community, please contact Jason Bechtold, the Economic Development Administrator, at (614) 901-6403.