Ohio legislature considers expansion of broadband service for underserved areas

Internet access has become a vital part of our everyday way of life. The ability to access the internet is critical for job searching, conducting government business, shopping, accessing important medical and financial information, and all levels of education. However, there are approximately 2.5 million Ohioans who lack access to reliable broadband service. In addition, nearly 90,000 businesses in Ohio do not have access to broadband internet. A recent Ohio State University study indicates that these underserved populations largely live in less populated rural regions where it is cost prohibitive for internet service providers to extend service. Read more >>

Legal Developments, Regional Updates, State Updates

JobsOhio awards grants to two companies expected to create 235 new jobs

Two auto parts manufacturers recently received grants from JobsOhio for projects that will create a total of 235 new jobs, the Dayton Daily News reports. JobsOhio awarded a $200,000 workforce grant to the DMAX engine plant in Moraine for an expansion that will retain 524 existing jobs and add 150 new ones “in a fixed-asset investment of $58.1 million,” according to the article. General Motors and Isuzu co-own the DMAX plant. JobsOhio also awarded a $300,000 workforce grant and a $200,000 economic development grant to Topre America Corp., a Japanese-based manufacturer that makes parts for Honda. Topre has “committed to bringing 85 jobs at its location in the Champion City Business Park but officials have said the business has potential to grow to more than 400 jobs.” For more, read the full article.

JobsOhio/ODSA, Regional Updates, State Updates

Ohio Attorney General reports 78.3% compliance rate for 2016 economic development incentives

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine recently released his 2017 Report to the General Assembly on Compliance with State Awards for Economic Development, which showed “an overall compliance rate of 78.3%,” according to a press release from his office. The report, which “analyzes whether companies and organizations who were awarded certain economic development incentives complied with the requirements” of those awards, found 213 of 272 awards “were in substantial compliance,” the release reports. Award recipients who do not comply with requirements of the incentives may be subject to remedial action, according to the report. For more, read the full press release and full report

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Groups work together to create and expand Akron Summit County ESID

The Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA), along with Summit County and Akron, Barberton and Coventry Township, teamed up to create and expand the Akron Summit County Energy Special Improvement District (ESID), according to a recent DFA newsletter. The ESID enables property owners “to finance energy efficiency improvements” such as lighting, heating and air conditioning, new windows and roofing through a special property assessment, the newsletter reports. Energy efficiency projects “can be financed in a number of ways,” including through a Northern Ohio Public Energy Consortium (NOPEC) revolving loan fund, “DFA Jobs & Investment Bond Fund and various private lenders.” Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro said the plan is to continue working “to expand the ESID to all Summit County communities within the next year.” 

 

Regional Updates, State Updates

Tax Reform’s Restrictions on Municipal Bonds

In the early morning hours of Saturday, December 2, 2017, the United States Senate, by a vote of 51-49, approved its version of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, commonly referred to as the Senate's tax bill. The Senate bill, unlike the House's version, does not repeal private activity bonds. However, the Senate bill contains the repeal of the authorization for advance refundings that first appeared in the Chairman's Mark. The Senate and House are expected to attempt to reconcile the two versions this week in order to produce a single piece of legislation that must pass both chambers of Congress before finding its way to the desk of President. Read more >>

 

Federal Updates, Legal Developments

Giving new life to “ailing” shopping malls takes loads of money and vision

Once-bustling enclosed shopping malls that have closed or are “ailing” can be repurposed, but it takes “millions of dollars and even more vision and tenacity to do so,” Crain’s Cleveland reports. The “once-troubled Parmatown Mall” is now in its first holiday season as the open-air Shoppes at Parma, after a $90-million, “five-year rebuilding process,” according to the article. Fairview Park’s Westgate Mall underwent a similar $75-million makeover to turn it into an outdoor shopping center; both malls had strong demographics that “made them targets for such remakes.” Other shopping center properties are not revived but instead completely repurposed, such as enclosed malls in North Randall and Euclid that are being torn down “to be resurrected as massive warehouse distribution centers for Amazon.” Others are prospects for “large-scale office uses” such as call centers. For more, read the full article.  

 

Regional Updates, State Updates

Seattle-based company expanding to Austin Landing, bringing high-tech jobs

SMITH, an “experiential commerce agency” based in Seattle, will bring more high-tech jobs to the Dayton region with its expansion to Austin Landing, the Dayton Daily News reports. SMITH “helps companies break into digital channels by both helping them form a strategy and building them the specific tools they need to carry that strategy out, whether that means augmented reality, artificial intelligence or emotion sensing technology,” according to the article. The company has worked with businesses including Microsoft, AT&T, and Xerox. SMITH plans to open its Austin Landing office with about 20 employees in late December or early January. CEO Tony Steel said the company is “rapidly growing” and “plans to expand around the country with more locations, including into the Dayton market,” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

Mansfield proposes historic designation for downtown and Carrousel District

The Carrousel District and downtown areas of Mansfield have plenty of history worth preserving, and the City Council wants to establish an official historic district to help fund those efforts, the Mansfield NewsJournal reports. Mansfield City Council recently approved “accepting two $12,000 grants . . . for an analysis of the proposed downtown historic district,” according to the article. Such a designation “would allow businesses in the district to apply for non-competitive federal tax credits for renovations.” Any qualified projects that apply for those credits receive them. Josh Lapp with consulting firm Designing Local said the process of establishing the historic district takes “about a year and requires state approval, with at least 400 hours of research to document the history of the area.” For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Downtown Dayton experiencing “largest construction boom in decades”

Investment in the downtown Dayton area “has surpassed $932 million since 2010,” with “about $428 million worth of projects” under development currently, the Dayton Daily News reports. Among those projects are “the massive rehab of the Dayton Arcade and the construction of the Levitt Pavilion Dayton, a new outdoor music amphitheater,” according to the article. The “first new office tower in years,” the CareSource Center City building, is expected to open in 2019. A Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel under construction now is the first new hotel in downtown Dayton in decades. The construction boom is being driven by “colossal interest in urban living and the growing appetite for unique and authentic” options to live, work, and play in the downtown area. For more, read the full article.  

Regional Updates, State Updates

House of Representatives and Senate Finance Committee pass Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, on November 16, 2017, by a vote of 227 to 205. The House bill continues to contain the repeal of private activity bonds and advance refundings. The Senate Finance Committee passed its version of tax reform hours later, 14-12. The Senate bill is silent on private activity bonds but contains the advance refunding repeal. The full Senate is expected to consider its version after Thanksgiving. Read more >>

Federal Updates, Legal Developments
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