Economic development groups “doubling down” to keep expanding companies in Northeast Ohio

JobsOhio, Team Northeast Ohio and the Greater Cleveland Partnership want to make sure local companies who want to grow “do so here rather than elsewhere in the United States and beyond,” Crain’s Cleveland reports. The three groups will add up to a dozen staffers between them “who will be calling on companies” in Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake counties “to identify those that are evaluating the long-term location strategies for their businesses,” according to the article. The organizations want “to be ready with financial incentives or sites available for expansion before the businesses decide to expand a plant at a location out of state, or leave the region altogether.” Kristi Clouse, executive director of operations for JobsOhio, said the increased involvement in retention and expansion is “because the bulk of the job creation, about 80%, comes from the expansion of existing businesses.” For more, read the full article

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

Local governments need more transparency for tax abatements, report says

New rules by the nonprofit Governmental Accounting Standards Board [GASB] “can encourage local governments to be more transparent regarding their tax abatements,” says a report by Policy Matters Ohio, according to a recent Gongwer article. The new accounting standards from the GASB “require more transparency regarding abatements in which tax revenue is reduced due to an agreement between the governor and a taxpayer,” according to that report. Policy Matters “looked at disclosures by 59 counties and 84 cities, villages and townships, with the 10 largest counties reporting a total of $25.8 million in abatements for 2016,” Gongwer reports. Zach Schiller, the author of the report, “said one of the concerns with the findings is that not all local governments are reporting their revenue lost to abatements.” Rep. Keith Farber (R-Celina), who is running for auditor, said, “[i]t’s important for local governments and their constituents to know if they are getting a return on investment from incentives.” 

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

County approves loan to complete financing for Cleveland Athletic Club redevelopment

Tenants may be able to move into new apartments in the former Cleveland Athletic Club by the end of 2018, as Cuyahoga County will provide a $2-million loan to complete the financing for the project, Crain’s Cleveland reports. Cuyahoga County Council’s economic development committee approved the short-term loan to developer CAC Project 2014 LLC “to complete a $56.3 million development package,” according to the article. The Council approved the loan during its January 23, 2018 meeting. The rest of the financing is provided through a $29.1-million construction loan, “an historic tax credit of $12.9 million, a $3.6 million Ohio Water Development Authority environmental cleanup loan and $3 million in Cleveland tax increment financing.” The completed mixed-use development will have 8,000 square feet of office space, 8,000 square feet of retail space, and 161 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Changes to Columbus tax incentives would promote mixed-income housing development

City officials in Columbus want to change tax incentives “to encourage mixed-income housing development in fast-growing neighborhoods such as the Short North,” Columbus Business First reports. Current property tax incentives “treat the Short North the same as disinvested areas such as Linden — exacerbating disparities,” according to the article. The proposed changes would require developers seeking property tax abatements for “mid-rise multifamily housing in market-ready areas” to “make a portion of units affordable for those at and below Columbus’ median income.” City Development Director Steve Schoeny said economically diverse neighborhoods “are healthier.” Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown said, “[i]f we’re getting people living and working in nearby neighborhoods, then there isn’t an emptying out of the city after 5 p.m.” For more, read the full article

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

New U.S. tax law lessens federal historic tax credit, putting projects at risk

A federal tax incentive that “has helped revive more than 42,000 buildings” and “yielded about $30 billion in federal tax receipts” was “eroded” by the new U.S. tax law that President Donald Trump signed in December, Fox Business reports. The federal historic tax credit “provides reimbursement for 20% of certain costs” for renovations of historic buildings, but the tax-law changes mean the “payback is now spread over five years instead of one,” reducing its value to developers, according to the article. In Dayton, developer Cross Street Partners “rushed to complete long-term leases” on a project to “overhaul a long-vacant collection of buildings known as the Dayton Arcade” before the change took effect after the end of 2017. Senior development director David Williams said “the weakened version [of the incentive] could have threatened a carefully constructed financing plan that includes multiple tax incentives.” For more, read the full article

Federal Updates, Financial Incentives, Legal Developments

Columbus one of 20 finalist cities for Amazon’s $5B HQ2

The only city in Ohio to make it through the first cut for Amazon’s $5-billion second headquarters is Columbus, reports Columbus Business First. “Unlike cities that offered plots of land, Columbus offered incentives to recoup partial land acquisition costs in the bid prepared by economic development groups Columbus 2020 and JobsOhio,” according to the article. Among those incentives are a “tax abatement on sites where Amazon opts to invest” and “a cash payment based on a portion of income tax withholding for new jobs.” Columbus also “pledged a dedicated transit and roadwork fund, also funded by reserving Amazon employee withholding tax,” according to Columbus Business First. Out of 238 proposals, Amazon selected 20 finalists; Columbus will compete with New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and others, The Columbus Dispatch reports. For more, read the full Columbus Business First and Columbus Dispatch articles. 

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

Two major projects coming to Green in 2018: FedEx Freight, Chase Bank

More than 100 jobs will be coming to Green in 2018, as FedEx Freight and Chase Bank plan “major commercial construction projects” for the city, reports. Green City Council “approved a five-year, 100 percent community reinvestment area [CRA]” for FedEx’s $16.5 million, 63,000-square-foot distribution center, according to the article. FedEx will relocate “74 full time and 34 part time employees” from its Killian Road, Akron location; those jobs represent an annual payroll of $3.9 million. The terms of the CRA include adding an additional 12 full time and 6 part time employees by December 2022. Additionally, Chase Bank “had site plans approved by the city planning commission for a 3,300 square foot location on the northwest corner of Boettler and Massillon roads,” Green Planning Director Wayne Wiethe said. For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Tax credits bringing 1500+ jobs to Southwest Ohio, Fostoria, and Van Wert

Six companies recently won state tax credits for projects that will bring a total of more than 1,500 new jobs and millions in capital investment to Southwest and Northwest Ohio. The Journal-News reports the Tax Credit Authority approved Job Creation Tax Credits for: Deceuninck North America in Monroe, to create 85 full-time positions and make $2 million in capital investment; London Computer Systems, expected to create 150 full-time jobs with a $27 million capital investment; LISNR, to create 80 full-time jobs; and Ensemble Health Partners, to create 1,100 full-time positions. The Courier reports that French auto parts manufacturer Treves received a payroll tax credit to create 91 jobs by the end of 2020. The Lima News reports MEK Van Wert, a new machined parts manufacturer, received a tax credit to create 30 new full-time equivalent positions. For more, read the full Journal-News, Courier, and Lima News articles. 

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

State offers incentives to 3 projects that will create 204 Central Ohio jobs

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority recently approved state tax incentives for Pharmaforce, Cintas, and Owens & Minor Distribution for projects that will add 204 jobs in the Central Ohio area, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Pharmaforce, “a pharmaceutical research and development and manufacturing company,” will invest $145 million to expand its existing facilities in Hilliard and New Albany. The company will add 80 employees as part of the expansion. Cincinnati-based Cintas plans to spend $10.4 million “to open a distribution center in Groveport that will create 69 jobs,” according to the article. Columbus Business First reports those jobs will generate “$2.304 million in new payroll by the end of 2021.” Owens & Minor Distribution, “a company focused on health-care logistics and medical supplies,” plans to create 55 new jobs in Obetz, The Dispatch reports. For more, read the full Columbus Dispatch and Columbus Business First articles. 

Financial Incentives, Regional Updates, State Updates

Columbus council approves tax abatement for $16.6M Short North project

 The Pizzuti Companies will get a tax break from the City of Columbus for its $16.6 million plan to “transform a Short North antique marketplace and consignment shop into a commercial office and retail property,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. Columbus City Council approved a “10-year, 75 percent property tax abatement worth $3.1 million” for the project to create a “four-story, 59,000-square-foot mix of ground-floor retail and office space” with underground parking, according to the article. The project will create 25 new full-time jobs with a total annual payroll of $1.3 million by the end of 2022. Earlier this year, “the city released a study that found developers do not need incentives for residential construction” in areas such as the Short North (see our August 21, 2017, blog post), but Development Director Steve Schoeny “has said that the city’s incentives on commercial property” are “less generous than its regional competitors.” For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, State Updates
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