Opinion: School Boards Must Speak Up When Money Goes Away

August 23, 2021

A photo of a white male in a suit speaking shows a scene from a school board meeting in Cincinnati.

Ohio, like just about every other state, offers a full menu of tax breaks and other economic development incentives to lure businesses to communities. Setting aside for a moment the debate over whether such subsidies achieve their stated goals – among them job creation or getting companies to open where they otherwise wouldn’t – the question becomes whether the group most impacted by the revenue loss should have full control over its portion or even veto harmful deals. We think the answer is “yes.”

Public school districts in the Buckeye State are funded through local property taxes, and typically get the largest share of the local property tax collection among public agencies. So, how are they impacted by property tax abatements? What is their role in the approval process? We met with several state and local leaders from all over Ohio to try and get answers to that question. Here are the takeaways from those meetings:

Head on over to the Cincinnati Enquirer to read the full Op-Ed by Good Jobs First’s Connor Rigney and Christine Wen.