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Entries for category:   Regional Updates

 
Aug 20, 2014

COST Issues 2014 Report on State and Local Tax Burden
 

The Council on State Taxation (COST) has issued its 2014 study on the state and local business tax burden by state. The report, "Total State and Local Business Taxes: State-by-State Estimates for Fiscal Year 2013," prepared by Ernst & Young LLP, focuses on fiscal year 2013. According to the study, the overall tax burden on businesses increased for the third consecutive year. The study includes information from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The taxes studied include business property taxes; sales and excise taxes paid by businesses on their input purchases and capital expenditures; gross receipts taxes; corporate income and franchise taxes; business and corporate license taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; individual income taxes paid by owners of non-corporate (pass-through) businesses; and other state and local taxes that are the statutory liability of business taxpayers. A copy of the study may be viewed here.


According to the study, the state and local business tax burden rose an average of 4.3 percent nationally in 2013. Ohio’s tax burden increase was below average at 3.7 percent, placing it 28th among states in terms of the increase. The single tax that businesses paid the most in Ohio was the property tax, followed by the state sales tax. Overall, businesses in Ohio paid approximately $20.4 billion in state and local taxes, which amounts to 4.1 percent of the Gross State Product, below the national average of 4.7 percent.


 
Posted by M. Engel in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Aug 01, 2014

Colerain JEDZ approved for November ballot
 

At least one Joint Economic Development Zone (JEDZ) proposal is proceeding to a vote despite the recent legislation to phase out authority for new JEDZs (see our June 9, 2014 blog post about this for more). Voters in Colerain Township will vote in November on a proposed JEDZ with Harrison after the Colerain Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously to allow the measure on the ballot, according to a Cincinnati.com article. If approved by voters, the JEDZ would create “a 1 percent payroll tax for nonresident workers,” to be spent only for infrastructure, according to the article. Township Board President Melinda Rinehart “said the unrelenting cuts to township funding from the state have left the township with few options,” and she said, “[t]his was one of our only alternatives to property tax, and they are taking it away. We need to take advantage of the opportunity while we still have it.” For more, read the full article


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jul 31, 2014

Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority announces new EB-5 public finance program
 

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority recently announced “it has established a public finance program to make available EB-5 financing as an option for qualifying job-creating capital projects in Cincinnati and Hamilton County,” according to their press release. EB-5 stands for Employment-Based Fifth Preference Program, a program of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. According to the release, EB-5 “was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate job creation. It is a vehicle for foreign nationals to make capital investments in U.S. Economic Development projects. Foreign nationals receive expedited consideration for U.S. residency in return for making a minimum capital investment of $500,000.” In a Cincinnati.com article, port authority President and CEO Laura Brunner said EB-5 "is a new tool for the Cincinnati area, and we see ample evidence that this capital source will add value to our development community and to the prosperity of our region. EB-5 capital is easily leveraged with tax-increment financing and other development financing programs." For more, read the full release and the full article.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jul 30, 2014

Samuel Adams partners with ECDI to help more small businesses in Ohio
 

Samuel Adams recently named Ohio’s Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) as its official Cincinnati lending partner for its Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, which provides microloans and business coaching for small businesses in the food, beverage, craft brewing and hospitality industries, according to a CNBC.com news release. Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, said in the release, “Small businesses are so important to our economy, but running a small business is not easy. We look forward to helping more passionate entrepreneurs … and are excited and eager to help more Ohio small businesses in particular through our expanded partnership with ECDI.” ECDI has been the program’s Columbus lending partner since 2012. The program often helps “small businesses that traditional lenders won’t work with” and “has provided over $3 million in microloans to more than 350 small businesses” as well as business coaching to more than 4,000 small business owners since it began in 2008. For more, read the full release.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jul 10, 2014

The Andersons is looking for new, larger space for company headquarters
 

The Andersons is shopping for a new location for its headquarters, as a result of steady growth over the past several years that the company expects to continue, The Toledo Blade reports. The company has outgrown the 103,000-square-foot building it has occupied in Maumee’s Arrowhead Industrial Park for 34 years. A spokesperson for The Andersons, Debra Clow, said in The Blade article, “We looked at … existing structures, vacant land, and developed land. ... We’re confident we will be building a new structure.” Clow said the new headquarters “would need to accommodate about 500 people at the outset … and then more personnel later as The Andersons continues to expand and grow,” according to the article. For more, read the full article.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jul 02, 2014

Idea of four-county port authority dates back 20 years
 

Mahoning County Commissioner David Ditzler recently proposed that Mahoning, Columbiana, Trumbull and Ashtabula counties join together to form one regional port authority (see our June 24, 2014 blog post for more information). According to a June 29 Vindy.com article, the regional port authority was proposed by then-Governor George Voinovich 20 years ago. The article reports that “Ditzler broached the idea during a meeting of the commissioners from Mahoning and Trumbull counties” at which the future of the Western Reserve Port Authority (WRPA) was discussed. The authority has recently lost three members and its executive director. A June 27 Vindy.com article reports that “[t]he five remaining members of the Western Reserve Port Authority board of directors voted in a special Friday afternoon meeting to hire a Pittsburgh law firm to represent them in the event that county commissioners follow through with threats to dissolve the board.” For more, read the full June 29 and June 27 Vindy.com articles.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jun 30, 2014

State of Ohio and small towns loan millions, but tech jobs did not materialize
 

A Cleveland businessman, C. David Snyder, told officials in several northern Ohio communities that his company, Ruralogic, was poised to generate new jobs and economic growth throughout the region. In exchange, the state of Ohio and the municipalities of Archbold, Bryan and Napoleon granted Ruralogic more than $1.2 million in loans and grants. The promised jobs and growth, however, never materialized. The Toledo Blade reports that “these issues follow a pattern of financial irregularities at Mr. Snyder’s companies, which either acquired or worked on projects that received more than $28 million in government financing during a five-year period.” The article states that most of the money has not been repaid and that the businesses involved “face allegations that they misappropriated taxpayer or corporate funds.” For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jun 27, 2014

Two possible development plans recently proposed for Routes 36/37 interchange
 

The interchange of Routes 36 and 37 in Delaware County is the focus of two future development proposals, The Columbus Dispatch reports. One development group, including Nationwide Realty Investors and the Weiler Cos., has submitted a proposal to Berkshire Township for the 1,700-acre North Star development, which would include “housing and shopping northeast of I-71 and Rts. 36/37,” and would extend “the Rts. 36/37 exit ramp northward by about a quarter-mile,” the article said. The proposed project includes the possibility that “a joint economic-development agreement could be created for additional funding and a community authority established to levy fees on future property owners.” Another group is expected to propose the NorthGate Centre, also in Berkshire Township, southeast of Routes 36/37. “Studies have shown that a southern exit would divert more than five times as much traffic from Rts. 36/37 as one to the north,” according to Sunbury Administrator David Martin. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jun 24, 2014

Officials say four-county regional port authority proposal worth considering
 

David Ditzler, chairman of the Mahoning County commissioners, recently proposed the idea of a four-county port authority and local officials say the proposal is worth considering, The Vindicator reports. “Under Ditzler’s proposal, Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties would unify to form a regional port authority,” the article said. The proposal has support from community leaders, including Thomas Humphries, president of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber, who noted that the counties have different types of ports but are all connected by Route 11. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jun 19, 2014

1,400-acre Warren County development close to approval
 

The Otterbein retirement community’s Union Village, a multigenerational community with up to 4,500 homes, is “close to winning approval in Warren County,” the Dayton Daily News reports. Plans for the project include hospital facilities, offices and an arts center, which will be “built in phases and supported through taxation by a community authority that will manage park systems, roads, snow removal and stormwater management, limiting pressure for township services,” the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jun 16, 2014

Worthington council votes to allow closed-door economic development discussions
 

ThisWeek Community News reports that Worthington City Council recently approved legislation permitting the council to meet privately to discuss economic development assistance applications. “The city will benefit because companies considering relocation typically do not want to share preliminary ideas regarding relocation, expansion or contracts with competitors or employees,” explained Pam Fox, Worthington law director. The amendment was made possible by Ohio House Bill 59, passed last fall, which expands the circumstances under which local governing bodies may meet in private to include such economic development discussions. The council must indicate during public session which issue or issues it will discuss in private before moving to executive session. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jun 13, 2014

S&P upgrades Northwest Ohio Bond Fund rating to “A-”
 

For the first time in its 26-year existence, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority’s Northwest Ohio Bond Fund has received an “A-” investment grade rating with a stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s (S&P), up from its previous “BBB+” rating. According to a press release from the port authority, key factors contributing to the upgrade include “a zero percent default rate to bondholders” and “a current reserve-to-loan ratio of 50 percent.” The release also states that the port authority “has developed a national reputation for innovative business financing, assisting more than 340 economic development projects representing a total investment of more than $1.8 billion while helping to create and retain more than 18,500 jobs.” For more, read the full release.


 
Posted by C. Bell in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jun 12, 2014

Business sues to take Etna-Reynoldsburg tax district vote off ballot
 

The Ascena Retail Group, based in Licking County, recently filed a lawsuit to prevent an August vote on a proposed joint economic development zone (JEDZ) between Etna Township and the City of Reynoldsburg. Ascena’s lawsuit claims that “members of both the Reynoldsburg City Council and Etna Township’s trustees … met either privately or in executive session in violation of Ohio’s open-meetings law before their May 5 approval of the JEDZ contract,” according to The Columbus Dispatch. The Etna Township JEDZ proposal would “impose a 1.5 percent income tax on anyone working in the zone — 58 parcels covering about 1,500 acres — and a 1.5 percent tax on the net profits of any business operating in the zone over the next 99 years,” the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jun 06, 2014

Leaders discuss the state of economic development in Ross County
 

Several company officials recently spoke about the state of economic development in southern Ohio during the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio's INsider OUTlook breakfast, according to the Chillicothe Gazette. A Kenworth representative said its Chillicothe plant has "2,000 employees and an annual payroll of $150 million." An official with the printing company Glatfelter, meanwhile, detailed the impact of the retiring baby boomer generation, noting that its Chillicothe plant "employs 1,270 people and has an annual payroll of $100 million," the article said. Ohio University's Chillicothe branch campus has also been especially significant for the area. With 2,300 students, the university was estimated to have contributed $36 million to Chillicothe and Ross County last year, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Professional Associations  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jun 05, 2014

Bricker & Eckler’s Chris Schmenk to speak at Midstream Ohio 2014 seminar
 

Chris Schmenk, of counsel to Bricker & Eckler’s Public Finance group, will speak on June 11 at the Utica Capital Series: Midstream Ohio 2014 seminar in North Canton. Her presentation will focus on the investments being made in Ohio’s shale play as found in the Shale Economic Development Overview published by Bricker & Eckler earlier this spring. The former director of the Ohio Development Services Agency will also discuss opportunities for companies wanting to support shale oil and gas midstream businesses.
 
Representatives of Caiman Energy (of the Blue Racer partnership), Access Midstream, M3 Momentum and EnLink will also make presentations at the seminar. Those companies are major players in the buildout of midstream infrastructure in the Utica shale play.
 
Click here for more information about the seminar.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jun 04, 2014

Hilliard is working to establish three TIF districts
 

Hilliard leaders are taking steps to create three new tax increment financing (TIF) districts by late June, ThisWeek Community News reports. The TIFs would involve the One Mill Run, Sunbelt Rentals and Verizon Wireless projects. The One Mill Run and Verizon TIFs would be "non-school" TIFs that would not affect the property tax revenue received by the school district. If approved, Sunbelt would receive a "15-year, 50 percent property-tax abatement, which is worth [an estimated] $300,638," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jun 02, 2014

H.B. 524 would require state to establish a tourism plan for Lake Erie
 

Ohio Reps. Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) and Matt Lundy (D-Elyria) recently introduced H.B. 524, which would require the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) to create a Lakefront Ohio Economic Development and Tourism Plan. The plan would engage regional institutions of higher education within the counties bordering Lake Erie to jointly develop a proposal for land use throughout the region. The bill has been assigned to the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. For more, read the full text of H.B. 524.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

May 30, 2014

Infighting prompts county commissioners in Trumbull and Mahoning to seek legal advice on reorganizing the Western Reserve Port Authority
 

Infighting among the members of the Western Reserve Port Authority has prompted commissioners from both Mahoning County and Trumbull County to ask their respective prosecutors' offices whether they can reorganize the port authority "to answer directly to the Mahoning and Trumbull commissioners instead of its own board; and whether the commissioners have the authority to remove a board member," The Vindicator reports. While port authority board member Rick Schiraldi cited only "business and personal commitments" in his April 25 resignation letter, commissioners from both counties feared that he was in reality "among port authority members who believe their personal and business reputations are being damaged by the 'dysfunctionality' of the board," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

May 29, 2014

Proposed three-mile road project would expedite highway access to the Mound Advanced Technology Center business park in Miamisburg
 

When the nuclear weapons developer Mound Laboratory closed 20 years ago, Miamisburg lost its largest employer. Now, after "more than $1 billion in federal environmental cleanup" assistance, the 306-acre Mound Advanced Technology Center business park has "attracted 11 businesses and more than 250 jobs," the Dayton Daily News reports. City officials now have it in their sights to recover the 2,000 jobs that were lost when Mound Laboratory closed. To do so, they are pursuing a three-mile road project that is planned west of Interstate 75, known as the Mound Connector. By expediting access to the highway from the business park, the project will be "pivotal to the success of the park's development," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

May 27, 2014

Cincinnati ranks second in the nation for cost friendliness
 

A new multi-year analysis found that Cincinnati is "second only to Atlanta" as a cost-friendly business location. The audit, tax and advisory services firm KPMG recently released its Competitive Alternatives guide, which compares international business locations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, according to the Gongwer Ohio Report. Last year, Cincinnati ranked first. Officials from REDI Cincinnati describe the ranking as proof of "sustained momentum" for the city, driven by it having "the lowest overall facility costs among the 31 large cities" and the lowest property tax costs. Cleveland ranked seventh on the list. For more, access the full study.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

May 23, 2014

Perry Township trustees in Franklin County withdraw support for JEDZ proposal
 

The Franklin County Board of Elections recently announced that Perry Township trustees have decided to withdraw support for a Joint Economic Development Zone (JEDZ) under consideration in conjunction with the City of Worthington, ThisWeek Community News reports. The JEDZ "would have allowed the township to use the city of Worthington's taxing authority to tax all businesses and employees in the township." The Worthington City Council approved the JEDZ on January 6 and the Perry Township trustees voted unanimously in favor of the JEDZ on January 13. Without the township’s continued support, the JEDZ will not take effect. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

May 21, 2014

Toledo rolls out new marketing campaign
 

Toledo is among a growing list of Rust Belt cities pursuing branding efforts, according to the Toledo Free Press (see our April 2, 2014, blog post for more information). Representatives from various public and private organizations came together in 2009 to promote the region. Now, after five years of work and an $800,000 investment by the community, the Toledo Region Branding Initiative launched this month with a new tagline, "It Matters Where You Make It," and a new logo. Similar efforts in recent years include Pittsburgh’s campaign featuring the "Pittsburgh. Mighty. Beautiful." tagline and one in Columbus featuring "Columbus" with a star over "us," which was first developed to honor the city's 2012 bicentennial. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

May 06, 2014

U.S. Department of Commerce highlights a significant discrepancy in the outstanding balance of Scioto County's Revolving Loan Fund
 

The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) recently sent a letter to Scioto County officials regarding a significant discrepancy that it identified in the value of the county's Revolving Loan Fund (RFL), the Portsmouth Daily Times reports. The county reported the figures for the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). According to Scioto County Chief Deputy Auditor Heather Cunningham, the total outstanding balance reported was $398,459.65. This number, however, included two EDA loans with a principal balance of $309,339.74 that had since been written off. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

May 05, 2014

New TIF will help fund infrastructure and technology improvements in Dublin
 

The Dublin City Council and the Dublin Board of Education recently gave their unanimous approval to an agreement to establish Tax Increment Financing (TIF) financing within the community’s Bridge Street District until December 31, 2046, according to ThisWeek Community News. Under the terms of the agreement, the school district "will continue to receive the amount of property taxes it gets when the TIF is created; increases in property tax revenues, however, will go to the city." TIF districts created in the Bridge Street District "will put funds from property tax increases toward infrastructure." The $1.5 million that the city will pay Dublin City Schools annually as part of the arrangement will be used for "technology improvements throughout the district," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

May 02, 2014

1,400-acre multi-purpose development plan proposed in Warren County
 

Warren County officials recently reviewed plans for a 1,400-acre development that is expected to take shape during the next 25 years, the Journal News reports. The Otterbein – "a business known for senior living facilities around the area" – is working on plans for a multi-generational development "expected to combine homes, shopping, offices and parks, along with health care and higher education facilities," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

May 01, 2014

Exploring JobsOhio's role in landing 1,400 GE jobs in Greater Cincinnati
 

The Cincinnati Business Courier recently examined the role of JobsOhio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in landing the new General Electric center in Greater Cincinnati (See our April 25, 2014, blog post for more information). Although Gov. Kasich did not hold a news conference to announce the landing of 1,400 jobs and new tax revenue in the state, "many of the parties involved" are crediting his administration and JobsOhio. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, a Democrat, thanked the governor, saying "I'd love to say we (the city) did it, but we didn't," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 28, 2014

City of Avon selects Pam Fechter to assume its newly created economic development coordinator position
 

The City of Avon in Lorain County recently created a new economic development coordinator position, The Plain Dealer reports. Pam Fechter, of Avon Lake, was selected from more than two dozen applicants to take the job, effective May 5th. Fechter is "currently the project manager of Team Lorain County, a public-private partnership that aggressively markets Lorain County to promote new jobs and investments and support existing companies," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 25, 2014

General Electric to create 300 high-paying jobs at its recently announced U.S. Global Operations Center in Greater Cincinnati
 

General Electric recently announced that it will bring up to 2,000 high-paying jobs to Greater Cincinnati for a new U.S. Global Operations Center, Cincinnati.com reports. The company already has "its GE Aviation headquarters and 9,000 employees in Evendale." Most of the GE center's employees "will relocate from elsewhere in the United States, but about 300 new jobs also will be created" that will pay "well above $50,000 a year." The company will announce within 90 days the location of the new center. GE is aiming to "break ground this summer and move in by 2017," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 24, 2014

Ohio's unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent in March
 

According to data released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 6.1 percent – a 0.4 percent drop from its February rate of 6.5 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged from the February rate of 6.7 percent, which is down from 7.5 percent in March 2013. The number of unemployed workers in Ohio decreased by 24,000 from 377,000 in February to 353,000 in March. During that time, the state's nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 600, from a revised 5,282,300 in February to 5,282,900 in March. For more, read the full news release and access the Current Civilian Labor Force Estimates.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 23, 2014

Ohio House committee advances H.B. 492 to ease restrictions on InvestOhio and the distribution of local tax credits
 

The Ohio House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee recently advanced H.B. 492, which would ease restrictions on the InvestOhio program to "spur investment in small businesses," according to the Gongwer Ohio Report. InvestOhio, which "offers a non-refundable 10 percent personal income tax credit for investing up to $10 million in small businesses," was created as part of Gov. John Kasich's previous mid-biennium budget review (MBR). H.B. 294 is part of the governor's current MBR and would reduce from five to two the number of years that investors must hold the investment under the tax credit requirements. Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) officials told the committee that the five-year requirement limited interest in InvestOhio. H.B. 492 also would "eliminate a provision in the law that allows municipalities to award local job creation and job retention tax credits only when the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approves the state version first," the article said. For more, read the full text of H.B. 492.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  JobsOhio/ODSA  Legal Developments  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 22, 2014

Toledo officials opposed to H.B. 289 defend JEDZs
 

Toledo officials recently met with Ohio Senate officials to protest H.B. 289, which the Ohio House of Representatives passed in late February, The Blade reports (See our Feb 27, 2014, blog post for more information). The bill aims to phase out Joint Economic Development Zones (JEDZs), a statutory creature relied upon by many local communities to promote economic development by drawing upon municipal and township cooperation. Its sponsor, Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-North Canton), introduced the bill to "prohibit cities and townships from joining forces to 'cherry pick' large businesses and employers for income taxation while providing little or no new economic development." Rep. Schuring is considering a rewrite to create a grandfather clause for existing JEDZs that would "allow for future renewals that do not involve a geographic expansion or increased tax rate." Toledo officials argued that northwest Ohio has not experienced the abuse of JEDZs that the legislation seeks to end, and that H.B. 289 would remove a tremendously success tool "for townships and cities to work together to engender economic development," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Legal Developments  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 21, 2014

Wave of redevelopment spreads to Cleveland's inner suburbs
 

Redevelopment in downtown Cleveland was the first sign in Northeast Ohio that the economy was finally coming out of the recession, and now that wave is spreading to the inner suburbs of Euclid, Lakewood and Shaker Heights, Crain's Cleveland Business reports. These older suburbs "used to be able to balance their budgets taxing homeowners," but are now "moving forward with major redevelopment plans that boost income tax revenue." Most of these projects feature "redevelopment and renovation of existing buildings and shopping strips," the article said. Another effort of the projects is to make "commercial districts more walkable." For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 18, 2014

Mahoning County withholds recommending continued tax abatements for two companies
 

The Mahoning County Tax Incentive Review Council recently voted to "withhold recommending to the Mahoning County Board of Commissioners to continue abatements" for InfoCision Management Corp. in Austintown and Simon Roofing in Youngstown, The Business Journal reports. The council did approve abatements for five companies, but "in both cases where the council held off endorsing continuing the abatements, the companies involved fell short on either meeting employment or investment projections, but exceeded the projection in the other measure." Simon Roofing received a 10-year, 60 percent tax abatement, but has added only 13 of the projected 25 jobs. InfoCision has "created 95 more jobs at its Austintown call center than projected after six years," but the company's total investment has been only $4.47 million, which "falls below the $5.25 million to $6.13 million projected," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 17, 2014

Youngstown Initiative Committee defers $100,000 grant for DNV Energy pending discussions with the City of Campbell
 

The Youngstown Initiative Committee recently approved financial assistance for four enterprises while deferring a decision "regarding a fifth application from DNV Energy LLC, an offshoot of Youngstown Pipe and Supply Co.," The Business Journal reports. The company wants $100,000 from the city to "purchase equipment and machinery, and to cover computer networking costs" related to its $1.15 million expansion project, which is projected to "create 11 jobs over a three-year period, six full-time and five part-time positions." Complicating matters for the DNV Energy LLC incentive is the fact that "the building straddles land in Youngstown and Campbell." The company received a $100,000 grant to move into the building in 2008, and the cost of the incentive and the tax revenues were shared between Youngstown and Campbell, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 16, 2014

National settlement with mortgage servicers funds unprecedented rate of demolition and reclamation across Ohio
 

An "unprecedented rate of demolition is happening all across Ohio" as communities make sweeping efforts to "tear down blighted buildings and build back neighborhoods," Cincinnati.com reports. The efforts are funded by the more than $75 million the counties received for these efforts as part of the state's share of a "$25 billion national settlement with mortgage servicers stemming from the housing collapse." In Hamilton County alone, "more than 526 vacant homes and apartment buildings have been torn down in the past 18 months." For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 14, 2014

Auto industry investing heavily in Ohio after the Great Recession
 

As the auto industry rebounds from the Great Recession, auto manufacturers have "poured nearly $1.8 billion into Ohio plants recently," the Dayton Daily News reports. In just the past three years, Honda, Ford Motor Co., Navistar and General Motors have announced major investments in their Ohio operations. Experts attribute the new investments to several factors – "increasing demand from consumers, recent union contracts, and streamlined manufacturing and distribution processes that make it more cost-effective to produce vehicles and parts in the state." The industry now employs approximately 2,000 more in Ohio than it did in 2009, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 08, 2014

Johnna Reeder of Duke Energy named CEO of REDI Cincinnati
 

The Cincinnati USA Partnership was recently re-engineered to become the economic development initiative REDI Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. Chief executive of this new entity is Johnna Reeder, who is assuming the position after most recently serving as the head of economic development operations at Duke Energy. In its previous incarnation, the economic development entity was part of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber (See our Oct 5, 2013, blog post for more information). Last month, executives announced that it would be restructured and rebranded under the new name, Cincinnati.com reports. For more, read the full Cincinnati Business Courier and Cincinnati.com stories.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 04, 2014

Seeing demonstrated progress, Ohio Controlling Board votes to release funding to Rocket Ventures
 

After agreeing in 2012 to withhold 2014 funding for the Toledo-based venture capital firm Rocket Ventures LLC, the Ohio Controlling Board recently unanimously approved the Ohio Third Frontier Commission's request to release the taxpayer-guaranteed bond money for the entity, The Blade reports. An independent evaluation in 2012 criticized the firm's "success rate in nurturing start-up companies, a perceived inexperience in product commercialization, and a lack of regional collaborators," which led the board to provide $1 million for 2013, but withhold 2014 funding until improvement was demonstrated. Since that time, the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) has expressed satisfaction with the entity's direction. In addition to severing its ties with the University of Toledo, Rocket Ventures has also "solidified its partnership with the Regional Growth Partnership as it seeks to demonstrate more of an 18-county northwest Ohio approach," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  JobsOhio/ODSA  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 03, 2014

Critics decry Cleveland Heights City Council's use of a tax abatement for Turkey Ridge housing
 

Cleveland Heights city officials promised to do more next time to inform the public about a tax deal before closing on it, The Plain Dealer reports. In March, the city council approved a 100-percent tax abatement for up to 15 years for new housing and house repairs of existing homes within the area known as Turkey Ridge. The 6-1 vote established the Turkey Ridge Community Reinvestment Area with critics on hand to decry passing the abatement for what they described as "one of the wealthiest and most stable neighborhoods of Cleveland Heights," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 02, 2014

Lake County launches marketing campaign to distinguish itself in the Greater Cleveland area
 

Seeking to stand out in Cuyahoga County and Greater Cleveland, the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority recently launched a bold advertising campaign featuring high-profile images of the county's attractions on five county buses, Crain's Cleveland Business reports. At a cost of approximately $105,000, these Laketran buses will promote Lake County for the next year as they shuttle commuters to downtown Cleveland and Ohio City. It is anticipated that the buses will be viewed by 25 million people in the next 12 months. In addition to the marketing strategy involving buses, the port is also "readying a new website focused on reaching ... site selection professionals to promote economic development," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Apr 01, 2014

Bricker & Eckler releases updated chart tracking Ohio’s oil and gas-related economic development
 

The evolution of Ohio's shale boom has moved beyond the rush to lease oil and gas mineral rights and into the midstream and downstream phases that involve the storage, transportation and processing of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Attorneys in Bricker & Eckler LLP’s Shale Task Force recently updated a chart that seeks to quantify the impact that the shale boom has had on economic development throughout Ohio. For more, access the chart.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 28, 2014

Shale Industry’s Impact on Your Finances Seminar on April 25
 

Bricker & Eckler LLP along with the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce present Shale and You: How the Shale Industry Can Impact Your Finances, a seminar on April 25 from 8:00 a.m. to noon at Washington State Community College.

Presentations and panel discussions will discuss general economic development as a result of the shale industry, personal finances and estate planning in the world that shale built and how to break into or work alongside the shale industry.

There is no cost to attend. For registration and contact information, please visit the MACC website.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 27, 2014

JobsOhio begins releasing new monthly financial reports on its economic development projects
 

Earlier this month, the private nonprofit corporation JobsOhio published on its website its first monthly report on "full executed projects," The Plain Dealer reports. The first report came after the economic development entity began "making economic distributions of its own, in addition to recommending projects for state approval." As a private entity with a revenue stream coming from the state's wholesale liquor profits, JobsOhio also features several other documents on its website aimed at providing transparency and accountability to its operations, the article said (See our Nov 5, 2013, blog post – "Audit reveals JobsOhio raised $188 million last year leasing the state's wholesale liquor profits"). For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 26, 2014

Ohio's unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent in February
 

According to data released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 6.5 percent – a 0.4 percent drop from its January rate of 6.9 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate increased from 6.6 percent in January to 6.7 percent in February, which is down from 7.7 percent in February 2013. The number of unemployed workers in Ohio decreased by 18,000 from 395,000 in January to 377,000 in February. During that time, the state's nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased by 4,600 from a revised 5,284,600 in January to 5,280,000 in February. For more, read the full news release and access the Current Civilian Labor Force Estimates.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 25, 2014

Whirpool Corp. announces $40 million investment expected to add 400 jobs to the Dayton area
 

The Whirpool Corporation recently announced a new $40 million investment that will double the size of the company's Greenville operations, which are focused on small appliance manufacturing. The project will add approximately 400 jobs over the next four years to the Dayton region. In addition to their eponymous brand, Whirpool also manufactures and markets products including Maytag, KitchenAid and others. For more, read this full Dayton Development Coalition news release.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 24, 2014

Guernsey County officials are confident that new hotel projects driven by the oil and gas boom will be sustainable in the long run
 

Officials for the Cambridge-Guernsey County Community Improvement Corporation and the Guernsey County Port Authority are confident that the several hotel projects lined up in the region as a result of the oil and gas boom are going to be sustainable in the long run, according to The Daily Jeffersonian. Even with campgrounds, fairgrounds and a marina extending their availability to oil and gas workers, a major room shortage still exists for the area. A new Sleep Inn & Suites recently opened, while a Microtel and Holiday Inn Express are under construction and a Fairfield Inn is in the planning stages. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 21, 2014

Catacel Corp. in Ravenna is proving an economic development success story
 

After receiving two rounds of funding from JumpStart as well as several grants from Ohio's Third Frontier program, Catacel Corp. in Ravenna reported "$2 million in sales in 2012 and $3 million last year" and is "on target to bring in $5 million this year," The Business Journal reports. The facility produces "high-performance, heat-exchanging structured catalysts used in hydrogen production, fuel cell and advanced energy applications." The company grew into a larger facility last September and is planning to increase its workforce of 30 by six this year, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 19, 2014

Auto parts supplier to create 150 jobs at a planned $50 million manufacturing plant in Monroe
 

Auto parts supplier UGN recently announced that it will break ground in April on a new, $50 million manufacturing plant in Monroe that is expected to create 150 jobs, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. The facility is "contingent upon final approval of state and local incentives." Beginning in 2015, the 206,400-square-foot facility is expected to generate more than $7 million in wages and payroll. It will manufacture carpet and underfloor technologies for use in Japanese-produced automobiles, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 17, 2014

Ohio's unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in January
 

According to data released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODFJS), Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 6.9 percent – a 0.2 percent drop from its December rate of 7.1 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 6.7 percent in December to 6.6 percent in January, which is down from 7.9 percent in January 2013. The number of unemployed workers in Ohio decreased by 16,000 from 411,000 in December to 395,000 in January. During that time, the state's nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 16,700 to 5,285,600. For more, read the full news release and access the Current Civilian Labor Force Estimates.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 11, 2014

Dayton Daily News investigation questions the transparency of the publicly funded Dayton Development Coalition
 

A recent Dayton Daily News investigation takes issue with the fact that the nonprofit regional economic development entity the Dayton Development Coalition "does not release its annual budgets, conflict of interest policies or financial statements" despite having received roughly 60 percent of its revenue from public sources since 2004. This totals $64.5 million in local, state and federal tax dollars. The coalition assumed more power and a new source of funding when it was designated as JobsOhio West in 2011. Despite this, the newspaper concludes that the entity "operates in such secrecy that it is virtually impossible to gauge how successful it is in bringing jobs and investment to the region or how wisely it spends the public's money," the article said. Local officials that support the coalition point to several economic development projects that it has helped bring to fruition; however, the newspaper maintains that many of the job-creation statistics associated with such projects are inflated. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 10, 2014

Plans for a streamlined building permitting office in Cincinnati are put on hold
 

A plan to create a streamlined building permitting office in Cincinnati has been put on hold indefinitely as a court case over rules for sewer projects plunges relations between Hamilton County and the city to a "new low," Cincinnati.com reports. The effort is among several collaborations across Ohio to have developed as a result of Gov. John Kasich's push for local governments to "save money and serve consumers better" by consolidating and collaborating on services. Although the city and county created a committee to help share services, the county approved the agreed-upon $100,000 for the effort, while the city never did. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 07, 2014

City of Heath approves five-year economic development agreement with German automotive supplier xperion
 

The Heath City Council and the German automotive supplier xperion Energy & Environment USA LLC recently finalized a five-year economic development agreement in which the company "will manufacture composite tanks for compressed natural gas applications in a 50,000-square-foot facility under construction at the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center campus," the Newark Advocate reports. Effective January 1, 2015, the deal "provides the company a five-year, 50-percent tax credit applied to its business profit tax" with the agreement that the  company will create about 59 full-time equivalent positions by December 31, 2016. The payroll during the five-year period is expected to total almost $4.9 million. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority recently approved a seven-year, 50-percent job creation tax credit for the project, as well (See our Nov 6, 2013, blog post for more information). For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 06, 2014

Medina County Common Pleas judge allows incoming trustees to rescind a settlement involving development zoning
 

A Medina County Common Pleas judge recently agreed that a settlement reached in December 2013 between township trustees and two property owners is "no longer valid or before the court for reconsideration," the Akron Beacon Journal reports. After seeking for years to have their 105-acre parcel rezoned for business development, Timothy and Linda Kratzer filed suit last year. Township trustees approved a controversial settlement that included "paying the Kratzers $15,000 and opening up the land for business development." New trustees who took office in January 2014 rescinded the deal. Cases brought forth by the Kratzers involving the constitutionality of the township's zoning classifications and "an appeal over whether the township improperly denied them a variance" will continue, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Legal Developments  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 04, 2014

Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Minority Business Accelerator launches its $1.7 million GrowthBridge Fund
 

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) recently announced the launch of the first phase of funding for its L. Ross Love GrowthBridge Fund, which will "provide debt capital to finance growth projects of established, highly competitive, African American- and Hispanic-owned firms in the region," The Cincinnati Herald reports. Since the fund was announced in June 2013, it has "raised more than $1.7 million from 28 investors representing both corporations and private commitments." Fundraising will continue until July 31st to "secure a goal of at least $2 million," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Professional Associations  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Mar 03, 2014

$60 million upgrade at DMAX's Moraine facility provides five years of job security for more than 500 employees
 

DMAX Ltd., a diesel truck engine manufacturer operated as a joint venture between General Motors and Isuzu, recently announced that it will invest $60 million in its Moraine plant in Montgomery County, the Dayton Daily News reports. The plant modifications reflect an effort to stay ahead of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new, 150,000-mile tier III emission standards. DMAX President and COO Maho Mitsuya said the upgrades mean "job security for at least five more years for this plant," which currently employs more than 500. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 27, 2014

Western Reserve Port Authority approves $10,000 in funding to apply for a federal advanced manufacturing designation
 

The Western Reserve Port Authority recently approved spending up to $10,000 to prepare an application to be one of 12 "Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership" designations made by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), The Business Journal reports. If approved, the designation would provide the seven-county region encompassing Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio, as well as Beaver, Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania, with "preferential treatment for funding from 13 federal agencies" to promote an advanced manufacturing sector in the region. The application is due March 14th, and a decision is expected mid-May or later. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 27, 2014

Ohio House of Representatives passes Sub. H.B. 289 to phase out JEDZs
 

On February 26th, the Ohio House of Representatives passed Substitute House Bill 289. If also passed by the Senate and signed into law, the bill would phase out Joint Economic Development Zones (JEDZs), a statutory creature relied upon by many local communities to promote economic development by drawing upon municipal and township cooperation.

Unlike prior versions of the legislation, however, Sub. H.B. 289 does not substantially affect Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDDs).  Among other things, the new version eliminated provisions that would have required written consent of each property owner and lessee in territory proposed to be included within a JEDD and that would have imposed territorial contiguity and revenue use restrictions with respect to JEDDs (See our Nov 1, 2013, blog post for more information).

As passed by the House, Sub. H.B. 289 would eliminate the authority of municipalities and townships to create JEDZs, effective January 1, 2015. It also would de-authorize the renewal of existing JEDZ contracts after December 31, 2014. The bill further requires the contracting parties of existing and proposed JEDZs to create a review council to monitor the performance of the JEDZ. The county auditor, an economic development organization representative, a member of the public and the owners of the four largest businesses within the territory (measured by number of employees) would make up the seven-member review council. They also would have authority to approve any new JEDZ contract or substantial amendment to a JEDZ contract before it could take effect. Finally, Sub. H.B. 289 provides specific authority for owners or employees of two or more businesses jointly to bring a suit to invalidate or suspend the income tax in a JEDZ.

For more about Sub. H.B. 289, read this Cincinnati.com article. For more information about the prior version of the bill, read this Bricker & Eckler publication.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Legal Developments  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 26, 2014

New study assesses the potential economic impact of the proposed ASCENT petrochemical complex in West Virginia
 

A new study presented yesterday to the West Virginia House of Delegates' Gas Works W.V. Caucus estimates that the proposed petrochemical complex ASCENT (Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise) would have an economic impact of more than $2 billion during the four-year construction process alone, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports.  In November, W.V. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced that international petrochemical company Odebrecht plans to build an ethane cracker and three polyethylene plants in Wood County, W.V. (See our Feb 2, 2014, blog post for more information). The study, titled "Building Value from Shale Gas: The Promise of Expanding Petrochemicals in West Virginia," was funded by Brasken America, which is owned by Odebrecht, and was authored by Tom S. Witt, PhD, chief economist for Witt Economics LLC and professor emeritus and former director of West Virginia University's Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The study did not focus on Wood County specifically, but "looked at the construction of a hypothetical $3.98 billion cracker plant and associated polyethylene plants that would use materials generated by the cracker" in West Virginia, the article said. Among the wealth of statistics presented, the study concludes that construction would result in a total of 24,118 direct, indirect and induced jobs for a total employee compensation of $1.116 billion. The total employment for operation of the plant, including direct, indirect and induced jobs, would be 2,088 with a total compensation of $116 million. Total annual output at start-up would be $764 million, with total annual output at full operation reaching $840 million. The cracker and polyethylene plants would employ 325 at full operation. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 25, 2014

Local leaders in eastern Ohio consider the overall impact of shale development to be positive
 

The Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs on Monday released the primary findings from its 2013 Ohio Shale Development Community Impact Survey, which it mailed at the end of July 2013 to local officials in the following 17 eastern Ohio counties: Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Mahoning, Monroe, Muskingum, Noble, Portage, Stark, Trumbull, Tuscarawas and Washington (See our Feb 18, 2014, blog post for more information). Of the 540 surveys mailed, a total of 227 responses were received (42 percent). Thirty-six respondents were excluded from analysis due to incomplete responses. Respondents included 66 mayors and city managers (34.6 percent); 16 county commissioners (8.4 percent) and 109 township trustees (57.1 percent). While the impacts of shale development are being felt across eastern Ohio, it is "particularly acute in counties where respondents feel refineries or horizontal well drilling is taking place," especially with regard to infrastructure. Respondents reported very little impact on public safety, but reported that some of the most significant impacts are those related to "increases in traffic volumes and the need for public road maintenance." A copy of the survey as it was distributed is available here.

According to the survey's findings, the majority of local officials (61.4 percent) reported that the impact of shale activity has "generally been positive," while 25.7 percent reported no change to their service area, and only 7.8 indicated that the overall impact has been negative. The majority of respondents reported that property and land costs have increased in counties with shale activity. This increase was attributed to: injection well construction (54.8 percent), horizontal shale well drilling (63.2 percent), pipeline construction (68 percent), worker camps (75 percent) and supply yards/staging areas (77.3 percent).

Nearly two-thirds or more of respondents indicated that rental housing costs have increased due to the impact of shale development, with 90 percent attributing it to refinery development, followed by supply yards and staging areas (86.2 percent). Only a small percentage of respondents indicated that certain crimes have increased due to shale development activity: alcohol-related offenses (13.3 percent), drug-related offenses (12.4 percent), property theft (11.2 percent), assaults (6.2 percent) and prostitution (2.8 percent).

Between 61 and 95 percent of all respondents indicated a need for public road maintenance as a result of ongoing shale development activities, while between 52.4 and 66.7 percent of all respondents reported an increased need for bridge maintenance and inspection. More than half of the surveyed county commissioners and township trustees (61.4 percent) indicated that Road Use Maintenance Agreements (RUMA) had been signed in their service area.

Although only 35.6 percent of respondents indicated that local tax revenues have increased as a result of shale development, "considerable differences were seen between the types of local officials." A large majority of county commissioners (87.5 percent) reported an increase in tax revenue, while 43.1 percent of city managers and mayors reported such an increase, and 22.2 percent of township trustees. "Local tax revenue is the only economic survey item where major differences were seen among the local official positions."

The surveyors clarified that the opinion survey and its findings are "not meant to draw causal relationships," and are instead a "baseline analysis and a snapshot in time." In the future, the group plans to conduct similar studies and track "how attitudes and opinions may vary as Ohio's shale play matures."

For more, read the full news release and access this slideshow presentation from Monday's webinar.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 24, 2014

First Batch Incubator in Cincinnati will accept applications from entrepreneurs until March 17th
 

From February 17th through March 17th, the First Batch Incubator in Cincinnati will be accepting applications from "entrepreneurs seeking production funds, mentorship and business development training," Soapbox Media reports. The four-month accelerator program "connects inventive entrepreneurs with resources, training and funding needed to take a prototype to the first batch of manufactured product sales." The incubator also covers up to $8,000 of "expenses incurred in manufacturing the first round of product" per participant, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Professional Associations  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 21, 2014

Chillicothe considers a special tax abatement to help Adena Health System move into the Carlisle Building
 

The Chillicothe City Council is considering amending its ordinance involving tax abatements to encourage Adena Health System to move into the Carlisle Building, which has been empty since a fire in April 2003, The Chillicothe Gazette reports. Currently, "commercial and industrial facilities can only receive a 50 percent abatement for up to 12 years within a designated Community Reinvestment Area" (CRA). The proposed change would increase the maximum abatement rate to 75 percent and increase the maximum number of years for an abatement to 15. The Chesler Group, a Cleveland-based developer, is "leading the charge to renovate the building." It plans to purchase the building next month and, in April, to begin construction on a $7 million project that includes nearly three dozen apartments for medical students and staff, a retail pharmacy, office space and stores. For more, read the full story.

Update: On February 13, Adena signed a 15-year deal to lease the Carlisle Building, Columbus Business First reports. The Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) approved $1.4 million in preservation tax credits for the historic building, which was built in 1885. For more, read the full story.


 
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Feb 20, 2014

ProMedica's move into downtown Toledo is expected to spur additional development
 

Although the move is not expected to create many new jobs directly, the consolidation of the 700 employees of ProMedica into downtown Toledo is being touted as a catalyst for future development for the city, The Blade reports. The hospital operator bought and renovated the vacant former Toledo Edison Steam Plant, and now the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and the State of Ohio are working with the city to develop incentives for the project. The entities are currently considering providing financial assistance for the construction of "an underground garage at Promenade Park on the former Federal Building site," as well as a possible partnership with the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and the Jewish Community Center (JCC) "to build a public downtown fitness center as part of the campus on the ground level of the KeyBank building," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 18, 2014

Ohio University will release its shale community impact survey during a free webinar on Monday, February 24th
 

The Consortium for Energy, Economics & the Environment (CE3) at Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs will release the findings of its highly anticipated Ohio Shale Development Community Impact Survey on Monday, February 24, 2014. It will be available to download here. That day, CE3 will also host informational webinars for the public (from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.) and the media (from 12:30-1 p.m.) that will discuss the report's findings in depth. For more, including registration information, read the full news release.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 17, 2014

Mayor John Cranley proposes new parking deal to the Cincinnati City Council
 

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is proposing a new parking meter deal to Cincinnati City Council, WXIX.com reports. The proposal calls for the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority to issue $30 million in bonds to upgrade each meter in the city to eliminate coins. While the city council would determine the rates and hours of operation, the city's parking services department would maintain control over all of the city's parking. Mayor Cranley said that upgrading the meters to have credit card and smartphone technology "could generate $6.2 million in revenue next year and up to $7.4 million by 2019." After the November election, the incoming mayor and several incoming city council members halted a parking lease deal developed by former Mayor Mark Mallory that would have netted the Port Authority an estimated $18 million over 30 years (See our Jan 27, 2014, blog post – "Cincinnati port authority looks for funding to move forward with major economic development goals"). For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 14, 2014

Westlake approves financing agreements for American Greetings' planned world headquarters
 

Westlake City Council recently passed several financing agreements for a project to construct Crocker Park Creative Studios, which will host the new world headquarters for greeting card company American Greetings, The Morning Journal reports. A tax increment financing (TIF) agreement with the company is expected to generate at least $450,000 annually for the Westlake City School District, and bonds will be used "for construction of roads, utilities and three public parking garages." Tax revenue for Westlake is "guaranteed to be at least $132 million" once all of the company's 1,800 employees and other retailers move to the expanded area. As part of the deal, American Greetings receive a tax rebate on employee income taxes of 0.5 percent. "Westlake will collect 1.5 percent from employees, while agreeing to give the company 0.5 percent back. Refunds will be issued to the company in the form a grant," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
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Feb 13, 2014

S.B. 134 would limit the ability of local governments in other states to directly finance economic development projects in Ohio
 

The Ohio General Assembly is considering a proposal to limit the ability of other states and their local governments to directly finance economic development projects in Ohio. Under Senate Bill 134, so-called “foreign entities” (i.e., governments outside Ohio) would need to seek the approval of an Ohio local government before providing financing for an Ohio project. The bill follows recent efforts by several port authorities to offer bond financing across state lines.

The bill requires a foreign entity seeking to finance a capital improvement project in Ohio to apply to the port authority, municipal corporation or county in which the proposed project will be located. If the local government determines that it cannot or will not provide financing on similar or better terms, it must approve the foreign entity’s application. If the local government denies the application, the foreign entity can appeal to the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA).

If a foreign entity finances a capital improvement project without applying for local approval or after its application has been denied, the local government that could have financed the project or the director of the ODSA can obtain a court order halting the financing. The foreign entity also can be required to repay either 75 percent of the fees it received from the financing or 100 percent of the fees that the local government would have generated by financing the project, whichever is greater. An Ohio government agency that works with a foreign entity in violation of the bill will have its actions voided and can be jointly and severally liable for the fee. For more, read these Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and Bond Buyer stories.

 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  JobsOhio/ODSA  Legal Developments  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 12, 2014

Opinion of Attorney General outlines county authority to convey real property in economic development setting
 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine recently issued an opinion addressing the authority a board of county commissioners has to transfer real property in fee simple to a county office of economic development or a community improvement corporation without competitive bidding or public auction. The opinion advises that a board of county commissioners has no general authority to transfer real property to an office of economic development. Pursuant to R.C. 1724.10(B), a board of county commissioners "may transfer lands or interests in lands owned by the county to an economic development corporation, provided the economic development corporation has been designated an agency of the county pursuant to R.C. 1724.10 and an agreement between the economic development corporation and the county permits such transfers." The board of county commissioners may not, however, transfer “real property other than lands or interests in lands owned by the county” to an economic development corporation. For more, read OAG Opinion 2014-003.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Legal Developments  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 11, 2014

Jefferson County Port Authority adopts its 2014 action plan
 

The Jefferson County Port Authority Board of Directors recently adopted a 2014 action plan that calls for the port authority’s executive director to "review the development and expansion tools offered by the port authority" with 10 to 15 of the largest industrial employers in the county, The Herald-Star reports. The port authority will update its website and develop a print brochure that will "highlight the county's major industrial sites as well as infrastructure and education assets." Other goals include gaining "perspectives on local skills gaps" from education leaders and pursuing a marketing program that addresses local image issues, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 10, 2014

Ohio and Indiana continue to promote their unmanned aircraft facilities despite losing out on a FAA test site designation
 

Despite failing to get selected as one of six Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone test sites in January, Ohio and Indiana are moving ahead with their partnership, which "includes the Ohio/Indiana UAS Center & Test Complex" that the two states established in Springfield, Ohio, last year, The Columbus Dispatch reports (See our Jan 10, 2014, blog post – "Federal Aviation Administration passes on Ohio and Indiana's joint application to serve as a drone test site"). The facility serves as "a regional hub operating seven test drone ranges in both states, providing sites where businesses, universities and researchers can test unmanned aircraft." For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 07, 2014

Greater Cleveland Partnership to request $20.3 million in state funding to help finance $210 million in regional development
 

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) "will ask the Kasich administration and the General Assembly to come up with $20.3 million to help finance $210 million in regional development," Crain's Cleveland Business reports. The state asked the GCP to "submit a list of priority economic development projects for consideration in the capital budget." The item at the top of the list is $7 million for a pedestrian bridge to connect the Cleveland Convention Center to the lakefront. The GCP is also requesting the following funds: "$6 million for improvements to the riverfront on the east bank of the Flats; $1 million toward $30 million in improvements to increase public access to the lake in Euclid; $350,000 for a $1 million plan to improve Lakewood Park on the lake in Lakewood; and $500,000 for the Towpath Trail, a hiking trail that begins south of Akron and will extend to Lake Erie," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 07, 2014

Residents to vote on a 1.5 percent JEDZ that would encompass all of Springfield Township in Hamilton County
 

Springfield Township trustees in Hamilton County unanimously passed a resolution to put a joint economic development zone (JEDZ) on the May 6th ballot, Cincinnati.com reports. The proposal would make the entire township a JEDZ and "would collect an earnings tax of 1.5 percent for workers in Springfield Township and 1.5 percent of business profits." Home businesses and residents who don't work within the township would not be subject to the tax, which it is estimated will raise about $1.125 million. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 06, 2014

Cincinnati Port Authority wants to transform Queensgate and Camp Washington into a major manufacturing hub
 

As the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority seeks dedicated and sufficient funding to move forward with the major economic development goals it was tasked with upon its restructuring in 2010, details are emerging about a plan "to remake parts of Queensgate and Camp Washington," Cincinnati.com reports (See our Jan 27, 2014, blog post – "Cincinnati port authority looks for funding to move forward with major economic development goals"). The plan calls for transforming "1,200 acres of railyards, vacant patches and old manufacturing sites" into "an important, thriving hub of high-paying manufacturing, engineering and laboratory businesses near downtown." The agency will ask the Cincinnati City Council for $6 million to begin buying old industrial land as part of a $250 million investment to "clean up and prepare the area for reinvestment during the next 10 years," the article said. The port authority hopes that the initial $250 million investment of public, grant and foundation money sparks "$1 billion in private investment." For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 05, 2014

Grow Licking County is growing its staff to keep up with prospective business deals
 

The public-private community improvement corporation Grow Licking County has been so busy pursuing business prospects that it has little time for marketing anymore, the Newark Advocate reports. With 65 prospects, including 32 requesting more information or follow-ups, the economic development entity's board recently received $30,000 from the county to hire a new, part-time assistant/project manager. A recent Grow Licking County report indicates that "40 of the 65 prospects are in manufacturing and 16 are in logistics/distribution," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 04, 2014

Cuyahoga County residents will vote on an alcohol and tobacco sin tax to support three sports stadiums in Cleveland
 

Last Tuesday, the Cuyahoga County Council unanimously approved a cigarette and alcohol tax levy intended to "help keep professional sports teams in Cleveland and promote economic development in the city," Bond Buyer reports. County residents will vote on the tax in May. The existing levy "to finance debt service and repairs to the stadiums" has been in effect since 1990, but it is set to expire in 2015. The new tax is "projected to raise $160 million through 2035." Should it fail to pass, the city and county will be responsible for an estimated $13 million a year in upgrades, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Feb 03, 2014

JEDZ agreement celebrated as an economic development success that mutually benefited three local governments in Lucas County
 

A 550-acre Joint Economic Development Zone (JEDZ) established in 2003 among the cities of Maumee and Toledo and Monclovia Township is being celebrated as an economic development success story, The Blade reports. The agreement establishing the JEDZ prevented the entities from competing for and engaging in a "fractious governmental squabble" over Dana Corp.'s 170,000-square-foot technical center project, which created hundreds of jobs in the area. Under the terms of the agreement, "Toledo sold the land to Dana, Maumee annexed the land, and Monclova Township got to levy property taxes on the site like it always had, plus it got a third of the income tax levied on Dana. Toledo and Maumee got to split two-thirds of the tax revenues." Dana ultimately moved its headquarters to a site within the JEDZ, and just last month it was revealed to the Toledo City Council "that a mystery company purchased 37 acres of land" within the JEDZ with plans to invest $10 million in a new headquarters and factory, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jan 31, 2014

NTE Solutions to invest $500 million in a natural gas power plant in Butler County that is expected to create 30 permanent jobs
 

Florida-based NTE Solutions announced this week that it plans to construct a $500 million natural gas power plant in Butler County that will "have the power to supply 400,000 homes," the Dayton Business Journal reports. The three-year construction phase for the power plant, which is to be called The Middletown Energy Center, is expected to begin next year and employ between 300 and 400 construction workers. The plant is expected to create 30 permanent jobs once operations begin there in 2018, and "will employ Mitsubishi advanced turbine technology in a combined cycle configuration, utilizing the exhaust heat of the gas turbine to produce steam to generate additional energy in a steam turbine generator." For more, read the full story and visit the project website.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jan 28, 2014

Pataskala has several economic development projects in the works for 2014
 

With a new mayor and two new city council members, the City of Pataskala has several economic development projects in the works for 2014, ThisWeek Community News reports. Redevelopment of the north and southeast corners of Summit Road and Broad Street are expected to bring commercial businesses, while the redevelopment of 26.8 acres on Main Street south of Mill Street are expected to bring both commercial businesses and residential development. The city also expects its Job Ready Site project, which contains 300 acres that are part of the 500-acre Pataskala Corporate Park, to come to fruition in 2014, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jan 27, 2014

Cincinnati port authority looks for funding to move forward with major economic development goals
 

Since the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority was reorganized three years ago in an effort to make it become a major economic development driver in the region, the lack of a "large enough and stable source of money" has prevented it from moving forward with many of its goals, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. When incoming Mayor John Cranley and incoming City Council members halted a parking lease deal that would have netted the port authority "at least $18 million over 30 years" – which the port authority considered its "funding breakthrough" – it has since been scrambling for money. The city and county each doubled their annual operating allotment for the authority from $350,000 to $700,000, but backers say it's nowhere near the millions needed. Although Mayor Cranley has said that a private equity stream could be the answer, port authority members maintain that "the appetite from the business community for private fundraising is much more constrained today" than it was 10 years ago when the Over-the-Rhine developer 3CDC was established, the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |   Permalink

 

Jan 24, 2014

Economic impact of craft brewers in Ohio was $1.26 billion in 2012
 

A new analysis by the Brewers Association, a not-for-profit trade association, shows that small and independent American craft brewers contributed $33.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012. That year in Ohio, the craft brewing industry was responsible for 10,731 full-time equivalent jobs, earning $355,888,000 in total income with an average annual salary of $33,164. The total economic impact of craft brewers in the state was $1,261,063,000. For more, read the full news release and the state-by-state data set.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  Professional Associations  Regional Updates  State Updates   |   Permalink