If you’ve been waiting eagerly to hear whether the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority or the Columbus school system will be on the hook when the Blue Jackets arena’s property-tax exemption expires in 2017, the winner is: both! Or the loser is both. Both the county and the school system will soon have less money, is the point:
The public owner of Nationwide Arena has offered to pay Columbus City Schools $586,000 a year, instead of almost $3 million that it would owe the district if the payment were based on the $143 million value that the Franklin County auditor puts on the structure.
If you’re going to say, “Hey, at least $586,000 a year is better than no property taxes at all!” keep in mind that the Blue Jackets owners have been paying $1 million a year in lieu of property taxes until now. So under the new deal the schools will get less money, and the county will have to cover that $586,000 annual tab. Everybody loses! Except the Blue Jackets owners, of course, who really managed to pull off quite the heist when they negotiated their arena bailout deal.