Ohio House passes bill creating option to exclude property from TIF incentive districts

Legislation creating a new opt-out procedure for tax increment financing (TIF) incentive districts passed the Ohio House of Representatives on May 25, 2016. House Bill 12 would apply to any incentive-district TIF created by a county, municipality, or township. In creating such a TIF, the applicable jurisdiction would be required to identify an “overlay” district surrounding the TIF, including up to 300 acres in the shape of a square or rectangle, with no side of the overlay exceeding twice the length of its shortest side. The owner of any property not located entirely within the overlay would have the right to exclude the property from the TIF through a new written opt-out procedure. The text of the bill is available online at: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-documents?id=GA131-HB-12. For more information, stay tuned to DevelopOhio. 

Legal Developments, State Updates

Agency has financing tools to help solve downtown parking problem

There’s a shortage of parking in downtown Columbus, and the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority wants developers to know it has financing programs that can help fill that need, Columbus Business First reports. President Jean Carter Ryan says, “[p]arking garages are the hardest thing to finance,” because they typically don’t pay for themselves. According to the article, “developers often are hamstrung because hourly or monthly parking does not cover the roughly $25,000 per space that structured parking costs.” Carter Ryan said her agency’s programs “work best when parking revenue is supplemented by special assessments or tax-increment financing districts, which redirect property taxes into a fund for infrastructure improvements.” As an example, the authority issued almost $10 million in bond financing for the 250-space Hubbard parking garage in the Short North, which is supported by a TIF. The agency has “provided more than $1 billion in long-term financing for private, nonprofit and government projects in Central Ohio” since it was created 10 years ago. For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Port authorities say proposed federal regulations could hurt their operations

Port authorities from Ohio and Oregon and a wholesale electricity provider from Nebraska warn that rules proposed by the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department “could hurt their standing as political subdivisions and their ability to issue bonds as well as complicate their governing structure,” The Bond Buyer reports. The new regulations would require that “political subdivisions serve a governmental purpose ‘with no more than an incidental private benefit’ and be governmentally controlled” to issue tax-exempt bonds, according to the article. Chris Burnham, president of the Development Finance Authority in Summit County, Ohio, said, “[m]any Ohio port authorities provide financing that can be construed as private benefit — we issue tax-exempt revenue bonds for parking garages and other public infrastructure through tax increment financing, which under state law, does benefit a private development project.” Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority chief financial officer Brent Leslie also said the proposed rules could be “problematic,” saying, “some additional clarity around the definition of control would make sure that ports, airports, and other special units/districts have the ability to continue to issue tax-exempt debt for the benefit of the citizens we represent.” A public hearing will be held June 6.

Federal Updates, Legal Developments, State Updates

Japanese companies have strong and growing presence in Ohio

An annual survey conducted by the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit shows that Japanese companies “now employ roughly 74,000 Ohioans, marking a 3 percent year-over-year increase,” reports the Dayton Business Journal. Honda Motor Co. is a big part of that number, employing “13,500 Ohioans at four manufacturing plants, a major R&D center for product development, a production engineering center for the creation of production tooling, a regional distribution center and other operations,” according to the article. The state’s central region, which includes Columbus, has the highest number of people employed by Japanese companies, at 30,000. The western region, which includes Montgomery County, is the second highest at 19,000 employees. Consul General Mitsuhiro Wada said in a release, “I am confident that Ohio and Japan will continue to build upon their strong, mutually beneficial ties,” adding that Japanese companies’ investment in the state reflects Ohio’s “strong and diverse economy.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

State tax credits help two companies bring 295 new jobs to Cincinnati area

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority recently granted incentives to Southwest Ohio companies Everything But The House (EBTH) and Rotex Global LLC to “create more than 295 new jobs, retain 262 jobs and complete more than $1.1 million of capital investment” between them, Cincinnati.com reports. This is the second time in less than a year that EBTH received a tax credit (see our October 20, 2015 blog post) as the company continues to experience rapid growth. EBTH plans to “add 275 employees at a new distribution center,” generating about $7.7 million in annual payroll while retaining another $3.3 million. Rotex “plans to increase its production capacity in the city”; the incentives “help secure an investment locally instead of in China,” according to the article. Rotex will generate an additional annual payroll of “about $867,616” and retain $9.9 million. Kimm Coyner, managing director of projects and JobsOhio liaison for REDI Cincinnati, said in a release, “[w]hen strong companies like these commit to growing and hiring people here, our regional economy thrives.” For more, read the full article

 

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Email discussions subject to Open Meetings Act, Ohio Supreme Court rules

Members of a public body who hold private discussions of public business via email are subject to the Open Meetings Act, the Ohio Supreme Court recently ruled. The Court’s ruling in White v. King held that any prearranged discussion constitutes a meeting, whether it happens in person or via other means of communication. The case was brought by Olentangy Local School District Board of Education member Adam White, after other members of the board held private email discussions with district staff members regarding the board’s official response to a newspaper editorial criticizing several board members. For more, read Bricker & Eckler’s bulletin Ohio Supreme Court rules email discussion violates Open Meetings Act

Legal Developments, State Updates

$8.6 million Mink-161 interchange project to begin this fall

Business development and growth in New Albany, specifically “the present and future development between the Beech Road interchange and Mink Street,” necessitated the approximately $8.6 million Mink Street and Route 161 interchange project that is expected to begin construction this fall, ThisWeek Community News reports. New Albany city spokesperson Scott McAfee said the city “is investing roughly $6.5 million in road and other infrastructure near the Beech Road corridor,” including “extension of Innovation Campus Way.” McAfee said the investment “will open up 170 acres to expand development opportunities in Licking County and bring more jobs to central Ohio,” according to the article. New Albany spent roughly the same amount developing the campus along Beech Road; that investment “has produced 3 million square feet of commercial space, $441 million in private investment and 2,500 employees at the campus.” McAfee said, “[w]e’re confident that this next $6.5 million investment will also bring about a really strong return.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, State Updates

$3 million budget recommendation shows Wilmington Air Park is top regional priority

Clinton County public and business leaders recently gathered for a press conference to discuss the proposed state budget bill’s $6.04 million in county projects, with $3 million “for Wilmington Air Park aviation-related uses,” the Wilmington News Journal reports. Speaker of the Ohio House Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) said the county area “cannot thank the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) enough” for advocating on behalf of the air park. “The Dayton Development Coalition made the Wilmington Air Park their number one [ranked] project. It’s because of their effort we were able to establish $3 million for the air park,” he said in the article. Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) President and CEO Joe Hete said the group hopes their latest customer, Amazon, will “continue the operation here in Wilmington,” saying he thinks the responses from state legislators “speaks volumes to them about what they can expect in terms of additional support going forward.” For more, read the full article.

Regional Updates, State Updates

Hocking Senior Village will provide community-based senior housing

A new project by Frontier Community Services, Hocking Senior Village, will construct “40 new units of senior housing” that will benefit seniors in both Logan and Hocking Counties, The Logan Daily News reports. Frontier Community Services, a non-profit corporation, “focuses on providing community-based homes for seniors and individuals with developmental disabilities that live on a low-to-moderate income,” according to the article. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) “awarded $668,901 to the project in low-income tax credits” as well as “a housing development loan of $1.5 million for pre-construction.” The project also received $750,000 from the Housing Development Assistance Program, a federal funding source. The complex will include a community garden and pathways for walking, while the units will be handicap accessible and energy efficient. For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Bricker & Eckler to co-host seminar offering insight into PACE financing

Bricker & Eckler LLP and Capital Crossroads & Discovery Special Improvement Districts will host an informational presentation about how PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing can help improve energy efficiency and lower operating costs for central Ohio property owners. Bricker partner Caleb Bell will present an overview of PACE financing and eligibility; other topics include improving ROI and the PACE loan process. The event will take place Tuesday, May 3, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., with the seminar beginning at 8:00 a.m. For more information, including a link to register online, click here

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates
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