Council Votes Itself A Pay Raise, Approves 10-yr, 75% Tax Abatement

MARYSVILLE – Legislators who sit on the Marysville City Council can expect to see a salary increase in each of the next two calendar years as the Council Monday voted 5–2 to approve annual pay raises for members starting January 1, 2024, with a additional raise in 2025. Aaron Carpenter and Deborah Groat cast the no votes on the measure.

The annual salary for the each of the sitting council members in 2023 is $8,520. With the ordinance now in place, starting January 1, 2024 the pay  for members will increase to $8,784 per year, with another bump to total $9,048 per annum starting Jan. 1, 2025.

Also passed on the final reading by the Marysville City Council Monday was an ordinance approving a 10-year, 75-percent Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) agreement for a 55,000 square-foot building that is currently under construction on Industrial Parkway, just west of the Scottslawn Road intersection. Included in the ordinance was a provision for a donation from Marysville Flex, LLC, which is funding the construction and will own the building, to the Marysville Exempted Village School District of $100,000 which will be spread out over the 10-year abatement period. The MEVSD is also expected to realize about $420,000 in property taxes while the abatement is in place.

Council President Henk Berbee recused himself from the vote on this ordinance as he has recently served with the MEVSD Finance Committee for a decade and has since resigned from the position. Mr. Berbee said that after discussions with other council members and City Law Director Tim Aslaner, Mr. Berbee’s work with the MEVSD might be interpreted as a conflict of interest on this one particular issue. To avoid any appearance of impropriety, Mr. Berbee stepped out of the chair as President of Council – turning the call for a vote over to Vice-President J.R. Rausch – as the vote on the CRA was taken and passed, 5-1, with Mr. Boerger being the lone no vote on the ordinance.

In his closing remarks prior to Council breaking into executive session, Mr. Rausch praised the passage of the CRA tax abatement.

“We got a WIN tonight,” Mr. Rausch said, tapping the dais with his finger for emphasis. He noted that many other communities in the Columbus-metro area are offering companies 15-year, 100-percent abatements and that Marysville has been “coming in second” to many of these communities when it comes to new commercial investment. He went on to say that Marysville has gone out of its way to accommodate the Marysville Exempted Village School District in its negotiations with prospective clients, as evidenced by the $100K donation from Marysville Flex, LLC to the MEVSD and Ohio Hi-Point Career Center over the next ten years, a proviso that was negotiated by the city. Furthermore, Mr. Rausch continued, the District will realize over $425,000 in property taxes over the abatement period, rather a total of $8,090 would have generated over the decade as it sits.

Mr. Boerger cast the lone vote against the measure, saying “I don’t like the level of wages that these businesses are bringing into town. I don’t think that abatement ought to be given out to business that offer $50,000 a year (in average salary). We need to bring high paying, high-skilled jobs to town.”

Prior to adjourning, the Marysville City Council broke into executive session to consider confidential information released to the specific business strategy of an applicant for economic development assistance.

The Marysville City Council is scheduled to meet again Monday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers, 209 S. Main St.

(Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly set the amount of the Marysville Flex LLC’s donation to the MEVSD/Hi-Point Career Center as $1,000,000 over ten years; the total donation is in fact $100,000 over ten years. Also, the time that Mr. Berbee spent on the Finance Advisory Committee of the MEVSD has been updated. The author apologizes for the errors.)

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