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January 20, 2011

City might lose ‘death tax’ revenues By JEFF DONAHUE ThisWeek Community Newspapers Bexley city officials have often discussed the worst-case scenario that would occur if the state legislature voted to repeal the estate tax. Over the past 10 years, estate tax revenues have accounted for approximately 17 percent of the city’s annual operating revenues. That number has varied from a high of $4.3-million (33.6 percent of operating revenues) in 2009 to a low of $482,046 (5.4 percent) in 2007. That worst-case scenario may become reality in the not-too-distant future. Assistant House majority whip Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) and state Rep. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) jointly introduced legislation Jan. 12 to eliminate the

Rep. Cheryl Grossman

Jeff McClelland

Rep. Jay Hottinger

Ohio estate tax, also known as the “death tax.” House Bill 3 would allow small business owners, farmers and homeowners to pass on their assets to their heirs without being taxed twice on their life’s savings. Grossman and Hottinger contend the legislation would make Ohio more competitive for entrepreneurial growth and investment.

Ben Kessler

“House Bill 3 is just one of the many ways we will be working to aggressively improve the way the state of Ohio does business,” Grossman said. “When you hear of the 400,000 jobs that have left the state of Ohio, 90 percent of those have gone to other states — not overseas. We need to be more business-friendly, and I think that this legislation is a huge step in the right direction for the people of Ohio and for

the generations to follow.” Hottinger said the time has come to bury the death tax. “We are beginning the process of ending a fundamentally unfair and egregious tax, a tax that is often the case of double taxation,” he said. “This bill is about restoring fairness to Ohio’s hardworking citizens, our families, small business owners, as well as our state’s farmers. Ending this tax will have a tremendous effect on job creation in the state of Ohio.” Ohio currently has the lowest estate tax exemption in the United States. Only $338,333 of the taxable estate is exempt from the estate tax, compared to an average exemption amount of approximately $1.7-million for other states that have an See ESTATE TAX, page A3

Bexley City Schools to bolster math requirements “Right now, 85 percent is a goal — without it out there, we can’t ThisWeek Community Newspapers strive to reach (it),” said Anne Hyland, district director of curricuBexley City Schools educators lum and instruction.” are hoping to challenge students Superintendent Mike Johnson a little more in math beginning said the 85 percent goal puts preswith the 2011-12 school year. sure on educators to intervene At its Jan. 10 meeting, the when necessary. school board passed a resolution “Our students need to be well requiring high school students to prepared for the ACT,” he said. take more difficult classes. “If you don’t encourage more stuThe resolution reads “begin- dents to take challenging courses ning with the the less likely freshmen in the they are to do If you don’t enfall of 2011, 85 well. They canpercent of each courage more students not do well on high school the ACT if they to take challenging graduating class are not exposed will have succourses the less likely to the curricucessfully comlum.” they are to do well. pleted Algebra Johnson said They cannot do well on without any efII plus two advanced-level the ACT if they are not fort at all memmathematics bers of the exposed to the courses.” classes of 2010 curriculum. Most stuand 2011 took dents currently Algebra plus MIKE JOHNSON take Algebra I two (higher — superintendent in middle level classes) at school and an 80 percent have had the rate so an 85 option of repeating Algebra I in percent goal is attainable. high school. The high school “It’s critical that we pass this equivalent will now be called “Al- goal now because our future is gebra Review,” and students ca- changing and changing rapidly,” pable of taking geometry as fresh- Johnson told the board. man would be expected to do so. Bexley High School math Despite the school district in- teacher Melissa McCreary said stituting a four-year math gradu- the most important thing teachers ation requirement starting with want to emphasize is placing stuthe class of 2010, district educa- dents in classes that are the most tors explained at the meeting, re- appropriate places for them while cent trends show that fewer stu- they move toward trying to place dents are taking advantage of high- more freshmen in geometry. er-level math than the district See MATH, page A2 would like. By TARA STUBBS-FIGURSKI

By Lorrie Cecil/ThisWeek

Sarah Reis makes a rosemary cornmeal polenta at the new Cherbourg Bakery, a gluten-free bakery in Bexley. Cherbourg Bakery had a soft opening before Christmas, but will hold its grand opening on Jan. 26.

New bakery to celebrate grand opening Jan. 26 By TARA STUBBS-FIGURSKI ThisWeek Community Newspapers Business is going well for Cherbourg Bakery, a new gluten-free bakery in Bexley, located at 541 Drexel Ave. The bakery is owned by Bexley residents Geri Peacock, Shari George and Peacock’s brother Gary Schwindt, who splits his time between downtown Columbus and Los Angeles. The store opened to the public about a week after Christmas, George said, and business is going better than expected. “The walk-in traffic for January has been outstanding,” George said. “(People) are crazy about our location.”

Bexley Area Chamber of Commerce president Mary Greenman said the bakery’s location is ideal with foot traffic to local galleries and restaurants. “Drexel is a terrific street,” she said. “There is lots of on-street parking.” The ideal location made hiring five parttime employees pretty easy too, Peacock said. “Having Capital (University) right next door has been such a great resource,” she said. “Capital students have been wonderful. It’s within walking distance. (Students) have flexible schedules with school. That has been great for us.” Reaction to the new bakery has been positive, George said, adding Bexley res-

idents have been supportive and appreciative of the new business. “(Customers) have been very patient and understanding as we are working through the details,” she said. “There is just a lot of excitement. We are excited about the decision to choose Bexley … it was the right decision.” Greenman said Bexley was a good choice for the new bakery. This is the community’s first gluten-free bakery. “It is something that I think people will enjoy having here and use, whether they have a planned event or pick up something on the spur of the moment,” she said. See BAKERY, page A2

Land Use Strategy Commission to push for creation of CIC By TARA STUBBS-FIGURSKI ThisWeek Community Newspapers The Bexley Land Use Strategy Commission will recommend the creation of a Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) when it presents its findings to Bexley City Council at 7 p.m. Jan. 25. The goal of the CIC would be to promote economic development, rejuvenate economically stressed areas in Bexley and serve as the economic develop-

ment agency for the city of Bexley. During a Jan. 17 meeting, commission member Daniel Ferdelman asked if the creation of the CIC would be a tremendous benefit to the economic development director. Economic development director Bruce Langner said the CIC would make it easier to dispose of property like the city hall site because the city would not have to go out to bid. “That was one of the more popular recommendations at the commission re-

treat,” city councilman and commission chair Ben Kessler said. The commission will also recommend consolidating some of council’s committees and adding a strategic planning committee whose goal would be to follow up on some of the ideas in the strategy. “This is the third revision of the draft,” Kessler said. “There have been some changes since the last meeting.” Kessler said a table was added to the draft that includes previous planning ef-

forts like the East Main Street Redevelopment Concept (2008), the Southwest Bexley Master Plan (2002) and the Main Street Design Guidelines (2002). Kessler said the land-use commission is asking council to adopt a blueprint for the city. He said he believes council will adopt the strategy, but whether they actually build anything is out of the commission’s control. However, he said it would be difficult to get more specific than asking council to adopt the strategy and that it will

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be difficult to hold council’s feet to the fire on the goals. One reason to restructure council committees is to stay on top of the issues, he said, adding as a council member he will serve as an advocate for the plan. Kessler said he has only heard positive feedback to date and he doesn’t have a sense the strategy will be a problem for council. tstubbs@thisweeknews.com www.ThisWeekNews.com

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