Letter from the editor

Your stance on central Ohio’s taxes

By
From the September 2014 issue of Columbus CEO

Are you a central Ohio native or a transplant? How you answer that question may color your view on the taxes you pay.  

In researching this month’s cover story, it was interesting to learn that some business leaders who moved here from other states were surprised to find how many different local taxing authorities we have.

The same shock was expressed by personal friends, a couple who moved from New Jersey and couldn’t believe they have to pay income taxes to not one but two municipalities—one where they live and one where he works.

Those of us who have always lived here may be less skeptical of the multiple authorities that regularly ask voters to pay for schools, or social services, or the zoo. It’s how we have always funded those things, and mostly we have approved the requests.

With voters saying “no” in a big way to a Columbus Public Schools levy request last fall and then to a Columbus Zoo request in May, we took a look at the tax environment and asked business and community leaders for their perspective. No one is panicking, but it is clear the zoo levy defeat and recent state law changes impacting new levies have the attention of taxing agencies, if not the larger business community.

Of course taxes are not the only factor determining what draws business to an area and keeps it there. And Columbus remains attractive for business development, by most accounts.

Our supplement this month on New Albany provides insights into how this fast-growing northeast suburb is bringing in businesses that are new to Ohio with innovative design in the New Albany International Business Park. And a New Albany culture of collaboration is proving attractive to women leaders of business and government, as reported by new contributing writer Mary Sterenberg.

No focus on New Albany would be complete without talking to Jack Kessler, the developer who teamed up with his friend Les Wexner to envision and then create the residential and business developments that have spurred the community’s growth. Assistant Editor Kitty McConnell sat down with Kessler for this month’s Q&A.

As I cycle through my first year as editor, I am often surprised at the long lead times required of our efforts to recognize and honor community leaders. Three separate processes are currently underway for Columbus CEO awards that will presented at the end of this year and early next year.

Our annual CEO of the Year surveys—recognizing leaders of large and small for-profit and nonprofit enterprises—have been mailed by our partner, Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. Area executives should look for their survey in the mail and return it by Aug. 25. The survey also invites your input on the central Ohio business climate.

Nominations for our Top Workplaces awards are being accepted online at ColumbusCEO.com/nominate through Sept. 19. Companies with at least 50 employees are encouraged to apply.

Nominations for Columbus CEO’s Healthcare Achievement Awards just opened and will be accepted until Oct. 15 at ColumbusCEO.com/healthcare. New categories will recognize Healthcare Trailblazers who are using innovative approaches to keep us healthy and Pathways to Population Health for promoting community wellness.

I look forward to announcing results—and maybe your name?—with all these recognitions in the months to come!