Joe Motil

Joe Motil, former Columbus City Council candidate and longtime community advocate who is strongly considering running for Mayor in 2023  states that, “Mayor Ginther’s continued Enterprise Zone tax abatement hand outs at the Rickenbacker logistics center and elsewhere need to be repealed. And with Intel’s presence, the need for tax incentives as an enticement to locate at Rickenbacker and in other Columbus locations makes no sense at all.”

This past Monday, Columbus City Council members approved of a $5.34 million 10-year tax abatement to the athletic sportswear company lululemon USA Inc. The company has operated a distribution warehouse since 2014 at the Rickenbacker logistics center which is one of the if not the number one most risk-free development logistics centers in the United States. Rickenbacker boasted a vacancy rate of its warehouse space of 2.1 percent at the end of the recent 4th quarter.          

lululemon  has been in business since 1998. As of March 25, 2022 lululemon athletica had a reported net worth of $44 billion making it the world’s 421st most valuable company. 67 percent of its clothing is made in China. The companies owner,  Chip Wilson, lives in the most expensive home in Vancouver, British Columbia that is valued at $66,828,000. Mr. Wilson’s net worth  was last reported at $5.5 billion.

Mr. Motil says, “According to the City of Columbus, lululemon's approximately 176,000 square foot expansion of its warehouse will create 199 warehouse jobs paying $17.00 an hour with benefits. This equates to an additional monthly amount of $14,659 in new city income tax revenue while giving lululemon a $44,545 monthly property tax abatement over a ten-year period. How exactly does the  defunding of public education through tax abatements equate to Mayor Ginther’s promises and futures of 'rising opportunity' for our children?"  

Motil states, “And to add further disgust to the granting of this tax abatement, when City Council’s newest member and chair of the Economic Development committee Nick Bankston was asked why the abatement was needed, he replied “The company requested it to make sure it could make significant investments.”

Really Nick? The 421st largest company in the world with a $44 billion market cap  doesn’t already have the financial resources to continue expanding its wealth that they require a monthly $44,545 pork chop for 10 years?” City Council also gave away a $3.56 million tax abatement to Tucker Bear Capital LLC on Monday night.

Motil concludes by asking Columbus’s working class, “Are you still feeling and enjoying the benefits of the city’s tax abatement policies and the opportunities that come with them? Or course not. Only if you are a luxury real estate developer or large corporation that is already swimming in cash.” Over the last 77 months Columbus City Council has handed out no less than $563.9 million in tax abatements.