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Boston, Peninsula JEDD on Nov. 5 ballot

10/17/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

BOSTON — Boston Township voters will be asked in the Nov. 5 General Election whether or not the township and the Village of Peninsula may form a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD).

Issue No. 37 asks, “Shall the resolution of the board of township trustees approving the contract with Boston Township and Peninsula Village for the creation of a Joint Economic Development District be approved?”

The purpose of the JEDD, according to the drafted contract that would be signed by the township and the village, is to facilitate economic development to create or preserve jobs and to improve the economic welfare of their residents.

The main result of forming a JEDD, said Boston Trustee Randy Bergdorf, is that Boston Township would be able to collect income tax revenue from this area. According to the contract, an income tax would be levied that is equal to Peninsula’s income tax, which currently is 1 percent. Employees of businesses within the JEDD would be subject to a 1 percent income tax if the JEDD is approved voters.

A township cannot collect income tax on its own, but forming the JEDD would allow it to share income tax revenue — in this case, with Peninsula.

Under the drafted JEDD contract, Boston would retain 90 percent of these tax collections, and 10 percent would go to the village. If Peninsula village voters were to approve a proposed increase in the village income tax from 1 percent to 2 percent Nov. 5, the percentages would change, and 70 percent of the income tax would be credited to the township and 30 percent to the village. [For more on the proposed Peninsula income tax increase, see the Oct. 10, 2013, West Side Leader or visit the archives at www.akron.com.]

The JEDD, if approved, would allow the communities to collect payroll taxes from employees of businesses in the township’s Economic Activity District (EAD), which includes portions of the township where Boston Mills Ski Resort, Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Summit County Engineer’s Office maintenance yard, the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center and Cuyahoga Valley National Park offices are located. The tax would only be paid on income earned in the JEDD area, Bergdorf said.

“Many of the properties that are in the EAD pay no property taxes, so we’re trying to collect it from the employees who work in these parcels,” he said. “A lot of these properties that are tax exempt still utilize public services … that the township provides [and] everybody enjoys.”

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