COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — When Nationwide allowed half its employees to work from home permanently, it cut off its own eligibility for city of Columbus incentives on those jobs.

The Columbus-based financial services giant didn’t cut jobs in the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesman confirmed. Meanwhile, a short-term state law change allowed municipalities to collect income tax on remote workers through calendar 2021.

But Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. this year received zero payment based on its 2021 Columbus income tax withholding – disappearing after $1.7 million the year before – because those same employees didn’t count if they weren’t in the office.

“They knew there would be no incentive this year because there were so many people they could not count,” said Bob Jones, enterprise zone manager in the city Department of Development. “The surprise really was on us, when the report came in.”

Nationwide’s is the most dramatic impact among many employers with city incentive deals thrown into upheaval by the new way of working.

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