Two men giving a presentation

City of Columbus mayoral candidate Joe Motil states, “Today’s Columbus City Council press conference previewed their Housing Initiatives. In almost all their points, they all but copied and pasted the proposals that I have been advocating for over a year.” This is the Columbus Way.

Motil continues, “For more than a year, as part of my Affordable Housing proposals, I have advocated for an ‘Empty Homes Tax.’ This is exactly what Councilman Rob Dorans suddenly proposed,  calling  it the ‘Columbus Rental Registry.’ Of course, the City Council members do not acknowledge me or anyone else.”

Motil stated, “My proposed Empty Homes Tax will increase the supply of urgently needed housing. It will incentivize property investors who leave homes vacant until the market favors them to list and then rent or sell the property. It will also force slumlords to renovate housing that sits vacant and contributes to crime and deteriorating neighborhoods. The Empty Homes Tax revenue generated from property owners goes into an Affordable Housing Trust Fund.”   

“The tax rate is based on the property’s size and how long it has been vacant. For example, a unit smaller than 1,000 square feet would be taxed $2,500 for the first year, $5,000 the second year, and $10,000 on the third year. 1,000 – 2,000 square feet 1st year = $3,500, 2nd year = $7,000 3rd year = $14,000. 

 “A housing or commercial structure that is 2,000 – 10,000 or more square feet would be taxed at 1st year =   $5,000, 2nd year = $10,000 and 3rd year = $20,000 for its third year of sitting vacant. A tax rate formula would also be tabulated for larger commercial structures. The tax collected would go toward providing housing for our unsheltered, those with incomes below $39,360, and to pay for homeowner repairs for seniors and low-moderate income.”

Motil also asserts, “As a petition committee member and supporter of the citizen-driven Columbus Fair Housing Code ballot initiative, the language in our ballot initiative makes clear that we will create a ‘Fair Housing Commission.’ Now, Councilwoman Shayla Favor proposes an ‘Office of Fair Housing.’”

Motil continues, “The absence of any independent or original ideas from the Mayor and other council members continues with Councilman Nick Bankston’s proposal to create ‘Rental Registry’ that includes a fee. That is also copied from our Fair Housing Code ballot initiative.”    

Motil concludes, “I attached an overview of the Columbus Fair Housing Code ballot initiative that Councilwoman Favor received on December 22, 2022 and my Affordable Housing proposal, much of which has circulated widely across public media and sources for more than a full year, and again in recent weeks. There is absolutely no way that the undemocratic Mayor, City Council members and their staff were not aware of its contents.”