Pending legislation would revise Ohio TIF law, require township compensation under certain TIF arrangements

Ohio municipalities that use tax increment financing (TIF) to support economic development should be aware of significant legislation that was recently approved by the Ohio House of Representatives. Under Ohio House Bill 69 (H.B. 69), authored by Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima), municipalities would be required to compensate townships for tax revenue diverted through certain TIF incentive arrangements. For more, read the full article.

Regional Updates, State Updates

Columbus creates tax incentive legislation aimed at large companies

Columbus City Council voted this month to create a new tax incentive that may help the city land a project from Asian electronics giant Foxconn. The incentive, “equal to a percentage reduction in the annual net-profit tax due from the taxpayer” for a 30-year period is “aimed at attracting large companies that plan to invest heavily in jobs and operations,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. Any company pursuing the incentive “must generate annual revenue of at least $7 billion and have at least $45 million in annual payroll,” and must create “1,000 new, non-retail, full-time positions” that pay at least $15 per hour, according to the article. Foxconn has said it “plans to build multiple plants in the United States,” and has shown interest in Columbus as a potential location. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou recently dined in the Short North after an event at the White House announcing plans to build a facility in Wisconsin. For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Columbus, America’s first Smart City, to begin with new transportation technology

With $50 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation and Vulcan Inc. (see our June 21, 2016 blog post), Columbus’s Smart City efforts are focusing first on using technology to change how people get around — and making it safer and faster, FoxNews.com reports. Despite an increase in traffic congestion, Jordan Davis, director of smart cities at the Columbus Partnership, said the focus is on “not how many people are getting around, but how they’re getting around.” Integrated data exchange (IED), which collects “data from sensors installed on traffic lights and from other databases,” could be used to notify drivers of the safest route to their destination or where to find available parking. Dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) allows “vehicles to communicate directly with one another,” which could help prevent accidents from unseen, oncoming vehicles. 

The plan “also calls for introducing 780 electric vehicles into the city’s public and private sectors by 2020, implementing automated shuttles and creating a system that adjusts speed limits in conditions like inclement weather.” For more, read the full article.

Regional Updates, State Updates

ODSA program offers low-interest loans for energy efficiency improvements

The Ohio Development Services Agency’s Energy Loan Fund is accepting applications from eligible organizations seeking low-interest financing for energy efficiency improvements. The fund offers loans from $250,000 up to $2.5 million for projects to install efficiency measures that reduce energy by at least 15 percent. Those eligible to apply include small businesses, manufacturers, local governments, nonprofit organizations, school districts, colleges and universities. For program guidelines and information on the application process, click here

JobsOhio/ODSA, State Updates

Cleveland Metro School District leading meetings on proposed property tax deal

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is soliciting public feedback on a proposed tax-increment financing deal that would support a private real estate project in the downtown area, Cleveland.com reports. The district’s Board of Education is “considering the role the public school system will play in financing for nuCLEus, a $540 million development” in the Gateway District, according to the article. The project would replace older buildings and a parking lot with “hundreds of apartments and, possibly, some condos, plus offices, shops, restaurants, a hotel and structured parking.” School district representatives and the developer “have negotiated a proposal under which the district would forgo new property-tax revenues created by the project for 30 years, in exchange for receiving an up-front payment of $18 million.” Residents can attend meetings across the city to hear a presentation from a district official, or they can respond to a survey or email feedback. For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Energy Works and Finance Authority partner to offer green energy financing

Two local programs are working together to promote sustainability by offering low-interest loans to Franklin County businesses, non-profit organizations and local governments for green energy upgrades.  Franklin County Commissioners established Energy Works in 2015 to help keep Columbus green and attract new businesses. The Commissioners plan to commit $1.5 million annually for five years for energy upgrades to aging buildings as well as other green energy projects. The Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority’s Energy Loan Fund is an economic development tool providing financing for energy efficiency improvements. The Finance Authority uses funds from Energy Works as well as its own funds to provide low-interest loans ranging from $200,000 to $6 million for projects such as PNC Plaza’s (see our March 21, 2016 blog post) and Trinity Lutheran Seminary’s energy upgrades. 

Regional Updates, State Updates

Springboro mixed-use development could draw $350M in investment

The proposed Austin Landing South development in Springboro could draw “[a]s much as $350 million” in local investment according to city officials, the Journal-News reports. Developer Larry Dillin indicated the project would be “pedestrian oriented,” describing his vision as “a mixed-use development that can readily adapt to the changing retail industry.” Dillin said the plans require a public/private partnership, with Springboro potentially investing $35 million “in roads and other infrastructure” as a 10 percent public share. The Warren County Port Authority “is preparing to finance as much as $35 million for Springboro to use in ‘acquiring, constructing, and equipping certain public improvements’” for Austin Landing South, according to the article. For more, read the full article.

Regional Updates, State Updates

Columbus offers White Castle incentives for $65M mixed-use development

The site of White Castle’s headquarters near downtown Columbus could get a drastic makeover if plans for a $65 million mixed-use development fall into place, Columbus Business First reports. Columbus City Council is considering “creating a tax-increment financing district [TIF], in which White Castle pays the city for infrastructure in lieu of taxes,” according to the article. A new corporate office for the family-owned burger chain “would be among users of 150,000 square feet of Class A office and 300 apartments on 15 acres.” White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson said, “[o]ur hope is to increase the commitment and size of our operation in Columbus,” saying the TIF is one of the first steps in the process of redeveloping the site. For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Canton’s innovation district also getting privately funded incubator

More big news for Canton: its innovation district is also getting a business incubator “and a healthy dose of private investment in infrastructure,” Crain’s Cleveland reports. Agile Networks co-founder and chief technology officer Kyle Quillen said his company plans “to invest seven figures” in the district and will privately fund the incubator. Canton announced in May that the city set up an innovation district that overlapped its redevelopment district (see our May 26, 2017 blog post), believed to be the first such combined district in the state. Quillen said Agile, which is located in the district, “will work to get the district the 100GB of internet speed it needs.” Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce vice president of economic development Mike Gill said the district’s improvements will help develop two markets, the “incubator market with people working on IT applications,” and “businesses that need high-speed connectivity that are already established and will benefit.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

Commercial buildings in NOPEC member communities eligible for PACE financing

Many commercial buildings have outdated lighting, windows, doors, HVAC or other features that, if updated, would dramatically reduce energy costs.  But how do you finance these improvements? If your project is in one of NOPEC’s 219 member communities, NOPEC may be able to help.  

Whether your project involves less expensive smaller improvements (like lighting) or more expensive larger improvements (like HVAC systems), property owners can access financing through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program for a single property or multiple sites. NOPEC provides the upfront financing to complete the improvements based on project costs and an energy assessment/audit that identifies savings opportunities.

The borrower repays the loan through an assessment that’s been placed on the now-improved property. It’s paid twice a year and is listed on the tax duplicate as an assessment. The assessment period will be based, in part, on the projected savings and useful life of the assets financed.

This fixed-rate loan program is available for many types of commercial property: for-profit (including retail and office) and non-profit, industrial, commercial housing and government facilities. Eligible facilities can be owner-occupied, rental properties or vacant, if future tenants are secured.  And there are no job creation requirements. This financing solution is available for projects from $100,000 to $500,000 in NOPEC’s member communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about NOPEC’s energy efficiency financing, contact Norma Fox Horwitz, Special Projects Manager, at nfhorwitz@nopecinfo.org or call 440.249.7829.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates
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