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Apr 18, 2014

Mahoning County withholds recommending continued tax abatements for two companies
 

The Mahoning County Tax Incentive Review Council recently voted to "withhold recommending to the Mahoning County Board of Commissioners to continue abatements" for InfoCision Management Corp. in Austintown and Simon Roofing in Youngstown, The Business Journal reports. The council did approve abatements for five companies, but "in both cases where the council held off endorsing continuing the abatements, the companies involved fell short on either meeting employment or investment projections, but exceeded the projection in the other measure." Simon Roofing received a 10-year, 60 percent tax abatement, but has added only 13 of the projected 25 jobs. InfoCision has "created 95 more jobs at its Austintown call center than projected after six years," but the company's total investment has been only $4.47 million, which "falls below the $5.25 million to $6.13 million projected," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Apr 17, 2014

Youngstown Initiative Committee defers $100,000 grant for DNV Energy pending discussions with the City of Campbell
 

The Youngstown Initiative Committee recently approved financial assistance for four enterprises while deferring a decision "regarding a fifth application from DNV Energy LLC, an offshoot of Youngstown Pipe and Supply Co.," The Business Journal reports. The company wants $100,000 from the city to "purchase equipment and machinery, and to cover computer networking costs" related to its $1.15 million expansion project, which is projected to "create 11 jobs over a three-year period, six full-time and five part-time positions." Complicating matters for the DNV Energy LLC incentive is the fact that "the building straddles land in Youngstown and Campbell." The company received a $100,000 grant to move into the building in 2008, and the cost of the incentive and the tax revenues were shared between Youngstown and Campbell, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Apr 16, 2014

National settlement with mortgage servicers funds unprecedented rate of demolition and reclamation across Ohio
 

An "unprecedented rate of demolition is happening all across Ohio" as communities make sweeping efforts to "tear down blighted buildings and build back neighborhoods," Cincinnati.com reports. The efforts are funded by the more than $75 million the counties received for these efforts as part of the state's share of a "$25 billion national settlement with mortgage servicers stemming from the housing collapse." In Hamilton County alone, "more than 526 vacant homes and apartment buildings have been torn down in the past 18 months." For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Apr 15, 2014

Ohio DSA Director David Goodman discusses the department's new focus in the wake of JobsOhio
 

Now that the nonprofit public-private partnership JobsOhio is handling the state's business attraction and job creation efforts, the Development Services Agency (DSA) is shifting its focus to "small business services, retention of existing businesses, and holding companies accountable for tax breaks," the Dayton Daily News reports. In an interview, Ohio DSA Director David Goodman said that "follow-up on companies receiving tax credits was nonexistent prior to this administration." With more than 70 programs operating out of the DSA, Goodman said that one of his main goals is the implementation of a program called One DSA, which aims to get the department to "function as a singular agency," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Apr 14, 2014

Auto industry investing heavily in Ohio after the Great Recession
 

As the auto industry rebounds from the Great Recession, auto manufacturers have "poured nearly $1.8 billion into Ohio plants recently," the Dayton Daily News reports. In just the past three years, Honda, Ford Motor Co., Navistar and General Motors have announced major investments in their Ohio operations. Experts attribute the new investments to several factors – "increasing demand from consumers, recent union contracts, and streamlined manufacturing and distribution processes that make it more cost-effective to produce vehicles and parts in the state." The industry now employs approximately 2,000 more in Ohio than it did in 2009, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Apr 10, 2014

House passes bill that would allow TIF revenue to be used for natural gas infrastructure
 

On Wednesday, the Ohio House of Representatives passed Am. Sub. H.B. 483 along party lines. After undergoing changes in the House Finance & Appropriations Committee earlier this week, the bill passed the House 57-33, according to the Gongwer Ohio Report. Part of the mid-biennium budget review (MBR), Am. Sub. H.B. 483 would allow communities to apply PILOT payments to “the provision of gas or electric service facilities owned by nongovernmental entities when such improvements are determined to be necessary for economic development purposes.” For more, read the full text of Am. Sub. H.B. 483.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Legal Developments  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Apr 08, 2014

Johnna Reeder of Duke Energy named CEO of REDI Cincinnati
 

The Cincinnati USA Partnership was recently re-engineered to become the economic development initiative REDI Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. Chief executive of this new entity is Johnna Reeder, who is assuming the position after most recently serving as the head of economic development operations at Duke Energy. In its previous incarnation, the economic development entity was part of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber (See our Oct 5, 2013, blog post for more information). Last month, executives announced that it would be restructured and rebranded under the new name, Cincinnati.com reports. For more, read the full Cincinnati Business Courier and Cincinnati.com stories.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Apr 04, 2014

Seeing demonstrated progress, Ohio Controlling Board votes to release funding to Rocket Ventures
 

After agreeing in 2012 to withhold 2014 funding for the Toledo-based venture capital firm Rocket Ventures LLC, the Ohio Controlling Board recently unanimously approved the Ohio Third Frontier Commission's request to release the taxpayer-guaranteed bond money for the entity, The Blade reports. An independent evaluation in 2012 criticized the firm's "success rate in nurturing start-up companies, a perceived inexperience in product commercialization, and a lack of regional collaborators," which led the board to provide $1 million for 2013, but withhold 2014 funding until improvement was demonstrated. Since that time, the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) has expressed satisfaction with the entity's direction. In addition to severing its ties with the University of Toledo, Rocket Ventures has also "solidified its partnership with the Regional Growth Partnership as it seeks to demonstrate more of an 18-county northwest Ohio approach," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  JobsOhio/ODSA  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Apr 03, 2014

Critics decry Cleveland Heights City Council's use of a tax abatement for Turkey Ridge housing
 

Cleveland Heights city officials promised to do more next time to inform the public about a tax deal before closing on it, The Plain Dealer reports. In March, the city council approved a 100-percent tax abatement for up to 15 years for new housing and house repairs of existing homes within the area known as Turkey Ridge. The 6-1 vote established the Turkey Ridge Community Reinvestment Area with critics on hand to decry passing the abatement for what they described as "one of the wealthiest and most stable neighborhoods of Cleveland Heights," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Apr 02, 2014

Lake County launches marketing campaign to distinguish itself in the Greater Cleveland area
 

Seeking to stand out in Cuyahoga County and Greater Cleveland, the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority recently launched a bold advertising campaign featuring high-profile images of the county's attractions on five county buses, Crain's Cleveland Business reports. At a cost of approximately $105,000, these Laketran buses will promote Lake County for the next year as they shuttle commuters to downtown Cleveland and Ohio City. It is anticipated that the buses will be viewed by 25 million people in the next 12 months. In addition to the marketing strategy involving buses, the port is also "readying a new website focused on reaching ... site selection professionals to promote economic development," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Apr 01, 2014

Bricker & Eckler releases updated chart tracking Ohio’s oil and gas-related economic development
 

The evolution of Ohio's shale boom has moved beyond the rush to lease oil and gas mineral rights and into the midstream and downstream phases that involve the storage, transportation and processing of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Attorneys in Bricker & Eckler LLP’s Shale Task Force recently updated a chart that seeks to quantify the impact that the shale boom has had on economic development throughout Ohio. For more, access the chart.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 28, 2014

Shale Industry’s Impact on Your Finances Seminar on April 25
 

Bricker & Eckler LLP along with the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce present Shale and You: How the Shale Industry Can Impact Your Finances, a seminar on April 25 from 8:00 a.m. to noon at Washington State Community College.

Presentations and panel discussions will discuss general economic development as a result of the shale industry, personal finances and estate planning in the world that shale built and how to break into or work alongside the shale industry.

There is no cost to attend. For registration and contact information, please visit the MACC website.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 27, 2014

JobsOhio begins releasing new monthly financial reports on its economic development projects
 

Earlier this month, the private nonprofit corporation JobsOhio published on its website its first monthly report on "full executed projects," The Plain Dealer reports. The first report came after the economic development entity began "making economic distributions of its own, in addition to recommending projects for state approval." As a private entity with a revenue stream coming from the state's wholesale liquor profits, JobsOhio also features several other documents on its website aimed at providing transparency and accountability to its operations, the article said (See our Nov 5, 2013, blog post – "Audit reveals JobsOhio raised $188 million last year leasing the state's wholesale liquor profits"). For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 26, 2014

Ohio's unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent in February
 

According to data released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODFJS), Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 6.5 percent – a 0.4 percent drop from its January rate of 6.9 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate increased from 6.6 percent in January to 6.7 percent in February, which is down from 7.7 percent in February 2013. The number of unemployed workers in Ohio decreased by 18,000 from 395,000 in January to 377,000 in February. During that time, the state's nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased by 4,600 from a revised 5,284,600 in January to 5,280,000 in February. For more, read the full news release and access the Current Civilian Labor Force Estimates.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 25, 2014

Whirpool Corp. announces $40 million investment expected to add 400 jobs to the Dayton area
 

The Whirpool Corporation recently announced a new $40 million investment that will double the size of the company's Greenville operations, which are focused on small appliance manufacturing. The project will add approximately 400 jobs over the next four years to the Dayton region. In addition to their eponymous brand, Whirpool also manufactures and markets products including Maytag, KitchenAid and others. For more, read this full Dayton Development Coalition news release.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 24, 2014

Guernsey County officials are confident that new hotel projects driven by the oil and gas boom will be sustainable in the long run
 

Officials for the Cambridge-Guernsey County Community Improvement Corporation and the Guernsey County Port Authority are confident that the several hotel projects lined up in the region as a result of the oil and gas boom are going to be sustainable in the long run, according to The Daily Jeffersonian. Even with campgrounds, fairgrounds and a marina extending their availability to oil and gas workers, a major room shortage still exists for the area. A new Sleep Inn & Suites recently opened, while a Microtel and Holiday Inn Express are under construction and a Fairfield Inn is in the planning stages. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 21, 2014

Catacel Corp. in Ravenna is proving an economic development success story
 

After receiving two rounds of funding from JumpStart as well as several grants from Ohio's Third Frontier program, Catacel Corp. in Ravenna reported "$2 million in sales in 2012 and $3 million last year" and is "on target to bring in $5 million this year," The Business Journal reports. The facility produces "high-performance, heat-exchanging structured catalysts used in hydrogen production, fuel cell and advanced energy applications." The company grew into a larger facility last September and is planning to increase its workforce of 30 by six this year, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 20, 2014

House committee approves bill that would allow parcel owners to opt out of incentive-district TIF
 

A bill introduced last June that would allow parcel owners to opt out of incentive-district TIFs was recently voted out of the Ohio House of Representatives State and Local Government Committee (See our June 11, 2013, blog post for more information). H.B. 198 would require new TIF districts to be square or rectangular – though if rectangular, the districts could not be too elongated. In addition, the legislation would require that TIF improvements benefit all parcels in the district and would require notice informing owners of property that will be partially within a proposed TIF that they have the right to exclude their property from the TIF district. For more, read the full Ohio Legislative Service Commission Bill Analysis of Am. H.B. 198.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Legal Developments  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 19, 2014

Auto parts supplier to create 150 jobs at a planned $50 million manufacturing plant in Monroe
 

Auto parts supplier UGN recently announced that it will break ground in April on a new, $50 million manufacturing plant in Monroe that is expected to create 150 jobs, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. The facility is "contingent upon final approval of state and local incentives." Beginning in 2015, the 206,400-square-foot facility is expected to generate more than $7 million in wages and payroll. It will manufacture carpet and underfloor technologies for use in Japanese-produced automobiles, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 18, 2014

JobsOhio releases 2013 annual report
 

JobsOhio's recently released 2013 annual report shows that a "strong fourth quarter of new job commitments and capital investments boosted [the agency's] overall performance last year," The Columbus Dispatch reports. 2013 was the first year that the agency "had control over the state's wholesale liquor-revenue stream for use for development," and the report indicated that the agency finished 2013 with "nearly $179 million in assets and having secured commitments for 17,856 new jobs and $739 million in payroll for the state." For more, read the full story.

 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA   |  Permalink

 

Mar 17, 2014

Ohio's unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in January
 

According to data released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODFJS), Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 6.9 percent – a 0.2 percent drop from its December rate of 7.1 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 6.7 percent in December to 6.6 percent in January, which is down from 7.9 percent in January 2013. The number of unemployed workers in Ohio decreased by 16,000 from 411,000 in December to 395,000 in January. During that time, the state's nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 16,700 to 5,285,600. For more, read the full news release and access the Current Civilian Labor Force Estimates.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 14, 2014

Economic development provisions included in Kasich administration’s second mid-biennium review budget bill
 

On March 11, 2014, Gov. John Kasich’s administration unveiled its second mid-biennium review budget bill (MBR). The bill, introduced as H.B. 472, highlights six major areas of interest for the administration, but includes many new policy and appropriation items. On Wednesday, March 12, Ohio House of Representatives Speaker William Batchelder (R-Medina) indicated that it is the House’s intent to divide the MBR into at least 11 bills, which would then be sent to committees for hearings. Below is a summary of the economic development components of the budget. Read this Bricker & Eckler publication for a comprehensive review of the MBR.


Incentive Requirements and Compliance

The MBR would establish August 1 as the uniform due date for reporting by recipients of state assistance through the Development Services Agency, the Ohio Venture Capital Authority, Third Frontier Commission, and the Ohio Coal Development Office.  Additionally, the MBR would require businesses seeking research and development financial assistance in connection with a relocation to notify local governments that will be affected by their relocation before entering into an agreement with the State for the assistance.  In the event that the recipient of a Research and Development Loan Tax Credit fails to comply with certain requirements related to its state assistance, the MBR would authorize the Development Services Agency to reduce the amount, percentage, and term of the tax credit.  Finally, the MBR would authorize the Development Services Agency to access Department of Taxation information as necessary to verify information provided by incentive recipients and to ensure compliance with tax laws.

JCTC Computations

The MBR would reduce the value of certain job creation tax credits during their first year.  Under continuing law, the value of a tax credit is equal to the income tax base revenue in the year at issue, minus the baseline income tax revenue in the twelve months before the Tax Credit Authority approves the project, multiplied by the tax credit percentage established by the Tax Credit Authority.  The MBR would eliminate a provision in current law providing that the baseline income tax revenue in the first year in the first year of the tax credit is to be reduced in proportion to the number of days in the year prior the tax credit in which the tax credit recipient was not eligible for the tax credit.  By eliminating this provision, the MBR would reduce the value of tax credits in their first year so that they will be based on the growth in income tax revenue for that year.

Municipal Tax Credits

The MBR clarifies that municipalities can offer job-creation tax credits and job-retention tax credits to employers, regardless of whether the employers also receive tax credit assistance from the Development Services Agency.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  JobsOhio/ODSA  Legal Developments  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 11, 2014

Dayton Daily News investigation questions the transparency of the publicly funded Dayton Development Coalition
 

A recent Dayton Daily News investigation takes issue with the fact that the nonprofit regional economic development entity the Dayton Development Coalition "does not release its annual budgets, conflict of interest policies or financial statements" despite having received roughly 60 percent of its revenue from public sources since 2004. This totals $64.5 million in local, state and federal tax dollars. The coalition assumed more power and a new source of funding when it was designated as JobsOhio West in 2011. Despite this, the newspaper concludes that the entity "operates in such secrecy that it is virtually impossible to gauge how successful it is in bringing jobs and investment to the region or how wisely it spends the public's money," the article said. Local officials that support the coalition point to several economic development projects that it has helped bring to fruition; however, the newspaper maintains that many of the job-creation statistics associated with such projects are inflated. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 10, 2014

Plans for a streamlined building permitting office in Cincinnati are put on hold
 

A plan to create a streamlined building permitting office in Cincinnati has been put on hold indefinitely as a court case over rules for sewer projects plunges relations between Hamilton County and the city to a "new low," Cincinnati.com reports. The effort is among several collaborations across Ohio to have developed as a result of Gov. John Kasich's push for local governments to "save money and serve consumers better" by consolidating and collaborating on services. Although the city and county created a committee to help share services, the county approved the agreed-upon $100,000 for the effort, while the city never did. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 07, 2014

City of Heath approves five-year economic development agreement with German automotive supplier xperion
 

The Heath City Council and the German automotive supplier xperion Energy & Environment USA LLC recently finalized a five-year economic development agreement in which the company "will manufacture composite tanks for compressed natural gas applications in a 50,000-square-foot facility under construction at the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center campus," the Newark Advocate reports. Effective January 1, 2015, the deal "provides the company a five-year, 50-percent tax credit applied to its business profit tax" with the agreement that the  company will create about 59 full-time equivalent positions by December 31, 2016. The payroll during the five-year period is expected to total almost $4.9 million. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority recently approved a seven-year, 50-percent job creation tax credit for the project, as well (See our Nov 6, 2013, blog post for more information). For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 06, 2014

Medina County Common Pleas judge allows incoming trustees to rescind a settlement involving development zoning
 

A Medina County Common Pleas judge recently agreed that a settlement reached in December 2013 between township trustees and two property owners is "no longer valid or before the court for reconsideration," the Akron Beacon Journal reports. After seeking for years to have their 105-acre parcel rezoned for business development, Timothy and Linda Kratzer filed suit last year. Township trustees approved a controversial settlement that included "paying the Kratzers $15,000 and opening up the land for business development." New trustees who took office in January 2014 rescinded the deal. Cases brought forth by the Kratzers involving the constitutionality of the township's zoning classifications and "an appeal over whether the township improperly denied them a variance" will continue, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Legal Developments  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 05, 2014

Newly founded VentureOhio is the first unified voice representing the state's entrepreneurs
 

The recently announced formation of the VentureOhio trade group is the "first unified voice representing" Ohio's entrepreneurial community, Columbus Business First reports. Its 45 founding members will work together to pursue policy initiatives that "promote the ecosystem that includes incubators, accelerators and universities." In addition to an annual investment report and policy recommendations, the group's 2014 agenda includes lobbying efforts for expansion of the Ohio Capital Fund as well as Ohio Third Frontier's pre-seed capitalization program, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Professional Associations  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 04, 2014

Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Minority Business Accelerator launches its $1.7 million GrowthBridge Fund
 

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) recently announced the launch of the first phase of funding for its L. Ross Love GrowthBridge Fund, which will "provide debt capital to finance growth projects of established, highly competitive, African American- and Hispanic-owned firms in the region," The Cincinnati Herald reports. Since the fund was announced in June 2013, it has "raised more than $1.7 million from 28 investors representing both corporations and private commitments." Fundraising will continue until July 31st to "secure a goal of at least $2 million," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Professional Associations  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Mar 03, 2014

$60 million upgrade at DMAX's Moraine facility provides five years of job security for more than 500 employees
 

DMAX Ltd., a diesel truck engine manufacturer operated as a joint venture between General Motors and Isuzu, recently announced that it will invest $60 million in its Moraine plant in Montgomery County, the Dayton Daily News reports. The plant modifications reflect an effort to stay ahead of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new, 150,000-mile tier III emission standards. DMAX President and COO Maho Mitsuya said the upgrades mean "job security for at least five more years for this plant," which currently employs more than 500. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Feb 28, 2014

Ohio among 16 states to achieve record export levels in 2013
 

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, Ohio was among 16 states that set new records for exports in 2013. That year, the state achieved $50.5 billion in exports, an increase of 3.9 percent from its 2012 total of $48.6 billion. An additional 10 states experienced merchandise export growth in 2013. "Total merchandise exports from the 50 U.S. states helped contribute to the record-setting value of goods and services exports, which reached $2.3 trillion in 2013" – a new record for the fourth consecutive year. For more, read the full news release and access this interact map with national and state merchandise trade data.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Feb 27, 2014

Ohio House of Representatives passes Sub. H.B. 289 to phase out JEDZs
 

On February 26th, the Ohio House of Representatives passed Substitute House Bill 289. If also passed by the Senate and signed into law, the bill would phase out Joint Economic Development Zones (JEDZs), a statutory creature relied upon by many local communities to promote economic development by drawing upon municipal and township cooperation.

Unlike prior versions of the legislation, however, Sub. H.B. 289 does not substantially affect Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDDs).  Among other things, the new version eliminated provisions that would have required written consent of each property owner and lessee in territory proposed to be included within a JEDD and that would have imposed territorial contiguity and revenue use restrictions with respect to JEDDs (See our Nov 1, 2013, blog post for more information).

As passed by the House, Sub. H.B. 289 would eliminate the authority of municipalities and townships to create JEDZs, effective January 1, 2015. It also would de-authorize the renewal of existing JEDZ contracts after December 31, 2014. The bill further requires the contracting parties of existing and proposed JEDZs to create a review council to monitor the performance of the JEDZ. The county auditor, an economic development organization representative, a member of the public and the owners of the four largest businesses within the territory (measured by number of employees) would make up the seven-member review council. They also would have authority to approve any new JEDZ contract or substantial amendment to a JEDZ contract before it could take effect. Finally, Sub. H.B. 289 provides specific authority for owners or employees of two or more businesses jointly to bring a suit to invalidate or suspend the income tax in a JEDZ.

For more about Sub. H.B. 289, read this Cincinnati.com article. For more information about the prior version of the bill, read this Bricker & Eckler publication.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Legal Developments  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Feb 27, 2014

Western Reserve Port Authority approves $10,000 in funding to apply for a federal advanced manufacturing designation
 

The Western Reserve Port Authority recently approved spending up to $10,000 to prepare an application to be one of 12 "Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership" designations made by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), The Business Journal reports. If approved, the designation would provide the seven-county region encompassing Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio, as well as Beaver, Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania, with "preferential treatment for funding from 13 federal agencies" to promote an advanced manufacturing sector in the region. The application is due March 14th, and a decision is expected mid-May or later. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Feb 26, 2014

New study assesses the potential economic impact of the proposed ASCENT petrochemical complex in West Virginia
 

A new study presented yesterday to the West Virginia House of Delegates' Gas Works W.V. Caucus estimates that the proposed petrochemical complex ASCENT (Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise) would have an economic impact of more than $2 billion during the four-year construction process alone, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports.  In November, W.V. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced that international petrochemical company Odebrecht plans to build an ethane cracker and three polyethylene plants in Wood County, W.V. (See our Feb 2, 2014, blog post for more information). The study, titled "Building Value from Shale Gas: The Promise of Expanding Petrochemicals in West Virginia," was funded by Brasken America, which is owned by Odebrecht, and was authored by Tom S. Witt, PhD, chief economist for Witt Economics LLC and professor emeritus and former director of West Virginia University's Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The study did not focus on Wood County specifically, but "looked at the construction of a hypothetical $3.98 billion cracker plant and associated polyethylene plants that would use materials generated by the cracker" in West Virginia, the article said. Among the wealth of statistics presented, the study concludes that construction would result in a total of 24,118 direct, indirect and induced jobs for a total employee compensation of $1.116 billion. The total employment for operation of the plant, including direct, indirect and induced jobs, would be 2,088 with a total compensation of $116 million. Total annual output at start-up would be $764 million, with total annual output at full operation reaching $840 million. The cracker and polyethylene plants would employ 325 at full operation. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Feb 26, 2014

Ohio Attorney General announces $1.5 million settlement with Buckeye Silicon for failing to create jobs
 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office announced last week that the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) and the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OADQDA) have reached a $1.5 million settlement with the Toledo manufacturing company Buckeye Silicon with respect to DSA and OAQDA financial assistance to the company. The company’s business plan involves the production of polysilicon for use in solar panels. The OAQDA loaned Buckeye Silicon $1,428,000 in October 2010 through its Advanced Energy Job Stimulus Program. That same month, the DSA provided the company with a $1.3 million Research and Development Loan. According to DSA Director David Goodman, however, the company "failed to fulfill commitments to repay Ohioans and create jobs." For more, read the full news release.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Legal Developments  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Feb 25, 2014

Local leaders in eastern Ohio consider the overall impact of shale development to be positive
 

The Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs on Monday released the primary findings from its 2013 Ohio Shale Development Community Impact Survey, which it mailed at the end of July 2013 to local officials in the following 17 eastern Ohio counties: Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Mahoning, Monroe, Muskingum, Noble, Portage, Stark, Trumbull, Tuscarawas and Washington (See our Feb 18, 2014, blog post for more information). Of the 540 surveys mailed, a total of 227 responses were received (42 percent). Thirty-six respondents were excluded from analysis due to incomplete responses. Respondents included 66 mayors and city managers (34.6 percent); 16 county commissioners (8.4 percent) and 109 township trustees (57.1 percent). While the impacts of shale development are being felt across eastern Ohio, it is "particularly acute in counties where respondents feel refineries or horizontal well drilling is taking place," especially with regard to infrastructure. Respondents reported very little impact on public safety, but reported that some of the most significant impacts are those related to "increases in traffic volumes and the need for public road maintenance." A copy of the survey as it was distributed is available here.

According to the survey's findings, the majority of local officials (61.4 percent) reported that the impact of shale activity has "generally been positive," while 25.7 percent reported no change to their service area, and only 7.8 indicated that the overall impact has been negative. The majority of respondents reported that property and land costs have increased in counties with shale activity. This increase was attributed to: injection well construction (54.8 percent), horizontal shale well drilling (63.2 percent), pipeline construction (68 percent), worker camps (75 percent) and supply yards/staging areas (77.3 percent).

Nearly two-thirds or more of respondents indicated that rental housing costs have increased due to the impact of shale development, with 90 percent attributing it to refinery development, followed by supply yards and staging areas (86.2 percent). Only a small percentage of respondents indicated that certain crimes have increased due to shale development activity: alcohol-related offenses (13.3 percent), drug-related offenses (12.4 percent), property theft (11.2 percent), assaults (6.2 percent) and prostitution (2.8 percent).

Between 61 and 95 percent of all respondents indicated a need for public road maintenance as a result of ongoing shale development activities, while between 52.4 and 66.7 percent of all respondents reported an increased need for bridge maintenance and inspection. More than half of the surveyed county commissioners and township trustees (61.4 percent) indicated that Road Use Maintenance Agreements (RUMA) had been signed in their service area.

Although only 35.6 percent of respondents indicated that local tax revenues have increased as a result of shale development, "considerable differences were seen between the types of local officials." A large majority of county commissioners (87.5 percent) reported an increase in tax revenue, while 43.1 percent of city managers and mayors reported such an increase, and 22.2 percent of township trustees. "Local tax revenue is the only economic survey item where major differences were seen among the local official positions."

The surveyors clarified that the opinion survey and its findings are "not meant to draw causal relationships," and are instead a "baseline analysis and a snapshot in time." In the future, the group plans to conduct similar studies and track "how attitudes and opinions may vary as Ohio's shale play matures."

For more, read the full news release and access this slideshow presentation from Monday's webinar.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink

 

Feb 24, 2014

First Batch Incubator in Cincinnati will accept applications from entrepreneurs until March 17th
 

From February 17th through March 17th, the First Batch Incubator in Cincinnati will be accepting applications from "entrepreneurs seeking production funds, mentorship and business development training," Soapbox Media reports. The four-month accelerator program "connects inventive entrepreneurs with resources, training and funding needed to take a prototype to the first batch of manufactured product sales." The incubator also covers up to $8,000 of "expenses incurred in manufacturing the first round of product" per participant, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Professional Associations  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

Feb 21, 2014

Chillicothe considers a special tax abatement to help Adena Health System move into the Carlisle Building
 

The Chillicothe City Council is considering amending its ordinance involving tax abatements to encourage Adena Health System to move into the Carlisle Building, which has been empty since a fire in April 2003, The Chillicothe Gazette reports. Currently, "commercial and industrial facilities can only receive a 50 percent abatement for up to 12 years within a designated Community Reinvestment Area" (CRA). The proposed change would increase the maximum abatement rate to 75 percent and increase the maximum number of years for an abatement to 15. The Chesler Group, a Cleveland-based developer, is "leading the charge to renovate the building." It plans to purchase the building next month and, in April, to begin construction on a $7 million project that includes nearly three dozen apartments for medical students and staff, a retail pharmacy, office space and stores. For more, read the full story.

Update: On February 13, Adena signed a 15-year deal to lease the Carlisle Building, Columbus Business First reports. The Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) approved $1.4 million in preservation tax credits for the historic building, which was built in 1885. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |  Permalink

 

 

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