Strong Retail Enables Safety and Social Justice

The following are my remarks delivered on July 11, 2014 at the Franklin County Retail Summit, sponsored by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, Franklin County Department of Economic Development, and the Columbus Chamber.

Download the report here.

Thank you, and it’s great to see so many of our partners here from the public and private sectors.

No segment of the economy is more critical to the operation of Franklin County – or to any Ohio county – than retail. 

In 2014, Franklin County is on track to collect just over $233 million in sales tax revenue. That represents 2/3 of our general fund expenditures, and provides for

$-Public Safety, including the sheriff, the justice system (including courts, prosecutors and public defenders), the coroner, emergency management, homeland security, and animal control

$-Economic Development, including support for the Finance Port Authority, Columbus 2020, Experience Columbus, and workforce investment initiatives

$-Social Safety Net, including resident healthcare, prescriptions, food and nutrition programs, shelter and housing, child support, and preschool and after-school programs

Every time a dollar is spent on taxable retail in Franklin County, our public service, safety, and social justice systems are strengthened.

My colleagues and I are committed to working to increase retail opportunities and sales in Franklin County, to leveling the playing field for our retailers with neighboring counties and sales online and across the nation, while also advocating for the wages and well-being of retail workers.

Meetings such as this one give us an opportunity to learn about the retail environment and hear your achievements and concerns. What we learn here today will significantly impact the way we look at policy and process in County government.

Thank you for being here, and I look forward to hearing what today’s presenters are about to share with us.

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