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Dec 12, 2014

Promised job-creation program funded by sales-tax increase unveiled

When Franklin County commissioners voted to raise the county sales tax in 2013, they promised to use some of the money for a new job-creation program. In October of this year, they launched “the first part of that program, the Franklin County Infrastructure Bank,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. The bank will “make low-interest loans available to other local governments for road, bridge, sewer, lighting and other improvements designed to make them attractive to businesses.” James Schimmer, Franklin County’s economic-development and planning director, said the bank will provide financing that “will leverage other dollars” from sources including private investment or state and federal programs, to “get projects done when they otherwise would come up short.” An initial investment of $3.5 million collected from the additional sales-tax revenue will start the fund, and the county will “add a similar amount for the next four to five years,” with the hope that the bank eventually becomes self-sustaining, as money paid back from successful projects funds future loans. Commissioner John O’Grady said the fund will benefit all residents of Franklin County, because, “[i]f we want to continue to grow the economy . . . we can’t have crumbling infrastructure. When local governments are looking to improve their communities through new development, they have to look at new infrastructure.” For more, read the full article.

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


Dec 04, 2014

New development chief for Cincinnati ready to build on city’s momentum

Oscar Bedolla, Cincinnati’s new development director, “may be City Manager Harry Black’s most important hire” in terms of keeping Cincinnati’s growth momentum going, according to a recent Cincinnati Business Courier article. Bedolla has “worked on major projects in Chicago, Baltimore, Denver, Washington D.C. and Louisiana,” according to the article, and Black says, “[h]e’s got a very broad scope of experience.” As trade and development director, Bedolla will be involved in major development and real estate deals to bring companies to Cincinnati, especially projects that involve tax incentives. Bedolla says deals like the new General Electric U.S. Global Operations Center coming to Cincinnati create momentum and breathe life into the city that can be leveraged to attract more businesses. Speaking of what attracted him to the position here, he said, “I think the key to development is strong partnerships. And here one of the key things they have is the relationship with the business community as well as the neighborhood communities.” Long-term, he says, he’d like “to be a part of the thought leadership associated with how cities grow from an economic development standpoint.” For more, read the full article.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Dec 03, 2014

Canton city council grants tax incentive and JEDD for Stolle Machinery

A new joint economic development district (JEDD) won unanimous approval from Canton City Council to help a local business remain in the area, reports Stolle Machinery has outgrown its facility on Marion Avenue in Canton, and the company plans to relocate to Jackson Township. City council approved the JEDD with Jackson Township, which “will allow the city and township to charge employees an income tax,” according to the article. The city will then return half of the taxes collected to Stolle for 10 years to help with relocation costs. Townships generally do not have authority to collect income taxes outside of a JEDD agreement. In 2010, the city of Canton and Jackson Township “approved a cooperative economic development agreement that encourages them to partner by providing shared services and incentives for businesses.” That agreement also forbids Canton from “annexing any township land for 50 years.” Jackson Township trustees have approved the JEDD for Stolle Machinery. For more, read the full article

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


Dec 03, 2014

Proposed H.B. 676 streamlines PACE financing process and creates role for port authorities

On December 2, 2014, Representative Margaret Conditt (R–Liberty Twp.) introduced H.B. 676, a bill that would change how Ohioans utilize Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. PACE financing allows property owners to pay for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects over time via a special assessment on property taxes. Current Ohio law requires property owners to access PACE financing through a modification to the law governing special improvement districts – governmental entities formed to improve and provide services to properties. H.B. 676 would streamline the PACE process, allowing property owners to choose from one of two simplified PACE financing processes. A significant change, the bill would authorize port authorities to serve as the primary local government involved in creating PACE programs. H.B. 676 would also expand the list of projects eligible for PACE financing, harmonizing the list of authorized energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects with provisions in Ohio’s utilities laws. For more, read the full text of H.B. 676.
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Legal Developments  State Updates   |  Permalink


Oct 22, 2014

Toledo mayor wants city’s own economic development agency

Mayor D. Michael Collins’s administration wants to “create a new economic development arm for the city,” now that it is no longer a part of the Lucas County Improvement Corp., the Toledo Blade reports. A recent restructuring removed the city’s seat from that board; relations between the city and the county “have been strained since [the mayor] announced Toledo would slash what it pays to the county for criminal justice charges by ordering city police to start charging most criminals under state laws rather than city ordinances.” That change could save Toledo $4 million to $5 million per year, but would remove an equal amount from county revenues. Toledo’s urgency to create a city agency stems from $9.4 million in pending land purchases “that could potentially help Chrysler expand its Jeep operations in the city,” according to the article. Senior attorney for the city’s law department, Eileen Granata, said creating Toledo’s own agency would be faster than trying to rejoin the Lucas County Improvement Corp., and noted that more than 200 cities in the state have their own city improvement corporations. For more, read the full article.  

Posted by G. Lestini in   |  Permalink






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