Columbus provides a regional model

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Thu, 07/14/2005 - 23:00.

Earlier this week, The 21st Century Growth Policy Team unveiled its recommendations on how Columbus should grow. The City of Columbus assembled the Team, a group of around 80 community representatives.

You can read more about the Team here. You can download a final presentation here.

The Team has come up with draft Code of Conduct as follows:

Code of Conduct
For Economic Growth and Regional Cooperation

WE, the undersigned jurisdictions of Central Ohio, are committed to the economic growth and prosperity of our communities and the Central Ohio region.

WE recognize that Central Ohio has many advantages to offer new businesses that are seeking access to a well-trained and educated workforce, an economically and culturally diverse community, and transportation and distribution facilities that connect our region to vast parts of the nation and the world.

WE also recognize that existing businesses will seek new locations within the region that support their growth in our local economy, and that such growth strengthens us all.

WE further recognize that we are each engaged in the promotion of our respective communities as a good place for existing and new business growth and that such promotion will at times place us in competition with other communities within the region.

WE also recognize that financial incentives are an important and necessary tool in today’s competitive economic environment to encourage businesses to add economic value.

WE believe that we should conduct ourselves in a manner that strengthens the long-term economic health of Central Ohio and does not strengthen one community at the expense of other communities within the region.

WE, Therefore, Pledge our communities to this Code of Conduct for Economic Growth and Regional Cooperation:

Communication – In the event that a request is made for financial incentives for a business that is considering relocation from a community within the region that has joined us in this Pledge, we shall promptly notify the community of the contact and share as much information as is possible.

Confidentiality - We shall honor the confidentiality requested by both our fellow jurisdictions and our prospects with respect to the specifics of the request to the extent permissible under law. Information shared with other jurisdictions in confidence shall remain in confidence.

Collaboration – We are committed to assisting new business relocating within the Central Ohio region. If our community cannot meet the needs of that business, we shall notify the appropriate business association or agency, and other communities that have joined us in this Pledge in an effort to meet the company’s needs elsewhere within the region.

Economic Incentives and Regional Growth Fund – While the provision of financial incentives to businesses seeking new locations within the region is a necessary tool in today’s economic environment, we believe that such incentives should be offered at the appropriate level to keep and attract jobs while protecting the taxpayer, other taxing jurisdictions and the private sector.

While we desire a level playing field with the provision of financial incentives, we understand that, at times, a community seeking to attract new business growth may offer incentives at higher levels than those offered by the community wishing to retain the business. If financial incentives are offered at a higher level than that which is offered by the community in which the business is located, then the community receiving the job growth will contribute to a Regional Growth Fund designed to support programs and projects that lead to stronger economic growth, such as regional economic development marketing, workforce housing and workforce development, infrastructure improvements or other efforts that benefit the region at-large.

Implementation and Enforcement – We are committed to the full and effective implementation of this Code of Conduct and will work cooperatively on the manner in which information will be shared, contribution levels to the Regional Growth Fund will be determined, programs and projects that are funded by the Regional Growth Fund are defined, and the method of reporting and enforcement.

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