Tax credit awarded to Claritas for plan to add $3.6M in payroll, 40 full-time jobs

A “fast-growing” market research firm in Montgomery has been awarded a state tax credit to “create 40 new full-time jobs,” reports. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved “a 1.716 percent, seven-year job-creation tax credit for Claritas,” according to the article. The new jobs are expected to add $3.6 million in annual payroll, and the California-based company is “also expected to retain $2.1 million in payroll as a result of its expansion.” For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Cliffs Natural Resources plans to build $700M iron processing plant in Toledo

Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources, an iron ore and mining company, has chosen Toledo as the location for a $700-million facility that would be the first of its kind in the Midwest, Crain’s Cleveland reports. The new iron processing plant “will have the capacity to produce 1.6 million tons of hot briquetted iron (HBI) per year” to be used in steel making. The project is “under consideration to receive about $30 million in grants and [other incentives] from JobsOhio,” while the city of Toledo will “provide a Toledo Expansion Incentive of 30% for ten years.” Cliffs would create 130 permanent jobs as well as “1,200 construction jobs over the next two years” if the project is confirmed; the plans are contingent on receiving final approvals for financial incentives. For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, JobsOhio/ODSA, Regional Updates, State Updates

Sinclair to be “significant presence” in west Dayton project

Sinclair Community College will play a central role in the proposed multipurpose Hope Center for Families development in the Dayton View Triangle neighborhood, the Dayton Business Journal reports. The school “will begin negotiating for a 10-year lease” in the center that will offer services focusing on “workforce development, health and wellness and children’s services,” according to the article. Sinclair “plans a new ‘service learning hub’ in the center for multiple uses.” The Journal reports that “[f]or the 45406 ZIP code, there are more than 7,000 unemployed people and 2,000 who are employable with minimal barriers to overcome, such as a GED.” Project planners “have been looking [to] land New Market Tax Credits with CityWide Development Corp., as well as $1.5 million to $2 million in state or federal dollars.” For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

First PACE project in Sycamore Township completed

Kids First Sports Center is the first building in Sycamore Township to complete an energy efficiency project with PACE financing, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. The 108,000-square-foot youth sports facility and preschool “used PACE to finance a $650,000 energy improvement project that included the installation of rooftop solar energy panels . . . the replacement of fluorescent lighting with LED lighting and the installation of new insulation panels in the facility’s gymnasium,” according to the article. In a press release, Kids First owner Jeff Metzger said the improvements “will reduce the facility’s energy costs by 50 percent” and called PACE “a tremendous approach to improving buildings and the environment.” Bricker & Eckler served as PACE counsel for the project. The PACE program provides financing for the total cost of energy projects, and the loans are repaid through special assessments on the property’s tax bill (see our Energy SIDs & Pace Financing Resource Center). For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Cuyahoga County enlists Ernst & Young to help fix loan program

Cuyahoga County wants to hire Ernst & Young (EY) to improve its economic development loan program after procedural problems were identified, reports. The county “loaned millions of dollars to 270 companies over the past decade,” but paperwork on many of the loan repayments is missing, according to the article. Cuyahoga County wants to hire EY “to audit a portion of the loan files, assist with developing policies and procedures and reframing the loan program to clarify vision, strategy and planned impact.” The county is “hiring a forensic auditor, compiling a special team and working with accountants to solve the problem, with a goal of issuing a report and coming up with policies and procedures by June 30.” For more, read the full article


Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

$55M Springfield project adds to growing international investments in Ohio

Japanese company Topre America Corp.’s plans to build “a $55 million plant in Springfield” is part of a “robust spate” of foreign investments in Ohio, the Dayton Business Journal reports. The Tokyo-based manufacturer “is promising to bring 85 new jobs and $3.4 million in payroll to the city as it sets up a new stamping and manufacturing site” at a former International Harvester plant. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 1.2 percent, seven-year tax credit to Topre for the project. JobsOhio Senior Managing Director Kristi Tanner said, “Topre’s commitment to Springfield is another example of the significant role foreign direct investment is playing in Western Ohio,” noting the company will bring “advanced automotive manufacturing and 85 new jobs to a facility that stood empty for too long.” A 2016 JobsOhio survey found “about 3,600 international companies employ 224,000 people” in Ohio, with Japanese entities making up 29 percent of that total. For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, JobsOhio/ODSA, Regional Updates, State Updates

New reporting rules will help evaluate effectiveness of tax incentives

A change in guidelines by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) will, for the first time, provide a way to evaluate the effectiveness of tax incentives in stimulating economic development, The Toledo Blade reports. Previously, “states, cities, and other government units haven’t been directed to uniformly report the value attached to the various tax incentives, abatements, and financing deals they agree to as a way of stimulating economic growth,” according to the article. The GASB’s new guidelines, which took effect in 2016, instructed governments to include this information in their annual reports. Watchdog groups praised the change “as an important precursor to debating whether such incentives are a good investment.” Zach Schiller, director of research for Policy Matters Ohio, said, “[b]efore you get to the question of whether [taxpayers are] getting their money’s worth, you have to know how much is being spent.” For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, State Updates

Reversing stricter wind turbine setback rules could gain Ohio $2 billion

A recent American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) study shows that Ohio could gain billions in investments and thousands of jobs if wind turbine setbacks were reduced, Gongwer Ohio reports. Renewable energy advocates are urging the Senate “to reduce the wind turbine setback through the budget process,” according to the article. AWEA’s study “projected Ohio could gain $2 billion in capital investments, 13,000 jobs and more than $660 million in tax payments to local governments and schools” if setback requirements were reduced. Local government and economic development groups say 2014 legislation that increased wind turbine setback requirements from 550 feet to 1,125 feet “effectively killed new wind farm development” in the state. AWEA Deputy Director John Hensley said reversing that legislation could also bring in “$440 million in land lease payments to farmers and landowners over the next three decades,” and that “the economic benefit will just snowball from there.”

Legal Developments, Regional Updates, State Updates

Technology initiative connects Ohio researchers to industry, attracting jobs and money

Technology researchers in Ohio are finding industry support and federal funding opportunities thanks to an initiative led by the state-funded Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN), reports. Several projects at six university-based Centers of Excellence (COE) “are showing potential to become powerful drivers of research dollars and jobs statewide,” according to the article. OFRN COEs “have won over $42 million in new resources for Ohio projects,” and OFRN projects “are attracting industry support to move forward technologies created by researchers in Ohio academic laboratories.” One project, the Test and Evaluation of Autonomous Systems (TEAS), is “expected to lead to a multi-million-dollar commitment from research firm Galois.” TEAS “will create processes and software to enable improved testing of unmanned, autonomous systems utilizing global positioning and global navigation satellite systems.” For more, read the full article.  

Regional Updates, State Updates

Canton combines development, innovation districts to attract tech companies

Canton City Council recently established two economic incentive districts for the city’s downtown “in which property improvements can be reinvested,” reports. City officials “have said they believe Canton is the first city to create a Downtown Redevelopment District and an overlapping Innovation District,” according to the article. The money “will be used to fund grants or low-interest loans to attract technology-based companies, according to the city’s corresponding economic development plan.” For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates
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