Companies that do business near Ohio’s capital get far more tax breaks for hiring new workers than companies anywhere else in the state.
Known as job-creation tax credits, the tax breaks can be worth thousands or even millions of dollars to companies that receive them in exchange for expanding their workforce.
Franklin County, home to Columbus, gets more tax-credit projects, promised jobs, potential payroll, and tax-credit value than any county in Ohio. Over the past four years, Franklin County landed twice as many tax-credit projects as any other county. It received more than 20% of all promised jobs and payroll tied to the state’s tax-credit program. The potential value of tax credits to business: nearly $70 million in Franklin County.
The tax credits are one of the tools Ohio uses to lure companies from other states or keep businesses here. The credits allow companies to write off a percentage of their payroll taxes based on the number of new jobs they create. Not everyone likes them – they are known as corporate welfare – but they are part of the conversation when businesses talk about relocating.
Gov. John Kasich’s JobsOhio is in charge of putting together the tax-credit deals, but final approval must come from Ohio’s Tax Credit Authority. It’s impossible to know how many applications are considered because the process is secret.