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Entries for category:   State 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

 

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 10, 2014

Ohio Supreme Court Rules Plaintiffs in JobsOhio Suit Lack Standing
 

In a major legal victory for Gov. John Kasich’s signature economic development initiative, the Supreme Court of Ohio today rejected a legal challenge to legislation providing for the creation and operation of JobsOhio. The Court held that plaintiffs ProgressOhio.org, Inc., Michael J. Skindell and Dennis E. Murray, Jr. lacked standing to raise their claims. Standing is a threshold requirement for legal action. Without any direct personal stake in the outcome of the case, the Court explained, the plaintiffs did not have standing and could not proceed. The Court did not reach the merits of the plaintiffs’ claims. Justice Sharon Kennedy concurred in the majority opinion, and Justices Paul Pfeifer and William O’Neill authored dissenting opinions. For more, see the Slip Opinion No. 2014-Ohio-2382.


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

 

Jun 09, 2014

Ohio enacts new limitations on joint economic development zones
 

On June 5, 2014, Gov. John Kasich signed Sub. H.B. 289 into law. The bill imposes sweeping limitations on the use of joint economic development zones (JEDZs) and establishes municipal utility districts for economic development purposes. The authority to create a new JEDZ, or to make a substantial amendment to an existing JEDZ agreement, expires January 1, 2015. The bill was passed as an emergency measure and takes effect immediately. For more, click here.


 
Posted by M. Engel in  Legal Developments  State 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 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 29, 2014

H.B. 345 would require the DSA to keep the value of its tax credits public
 

Ohio Rep. Nick Barborak (D-Lisbon) recently delivered sponsor testimony for H.B. 345, which he introduced in November to require the director of the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) to estimate the revenue that would be foregone by the state as a result of each tax incentive proposed to the Tax Credit Authority. The bill would also require DSA to publish the director’s estimates on its website, consistent with current DSA practice. Rep. Barborak said his bill would codify this practice to ensure the information is always publicly accessible.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Legal Developments  State 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 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 15, 2014

Ohio DSA Director David Goodman discusses the department's new focus in the wake of JobsOhio
 

Now that the nonprofit public-private partnership JobsOhio is handling the state's business attraction and job creation efforts, the Development Services Agency (DSA) is shifting its focus to "small business services, retention of existing businesses, and holding companies accountable for tax breaks," the Dayton Daily News reports. In an interview, Ohio DSA Director David Goodman said that "follow-up on companies receiving tax credits was nonexistent prior to this administration." With more than 70 programs operating out of the DSA, Goodman said that one of his main goals is the implementation of a program called One DSA, which aims to get the department to "function as a singular agency," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  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 10, 2014

House passes bill that would allow TIF revenue to be used for natural gas infrastructure
 

On Wednesday, the Ohio House of Representatives passed Am. Sub. H.B. 483 along party lines. After undergoing changes in the House Finance & Appropriations Committee earlier this week, the bill passed the House 57-33, according to the Gongwer Ohio Report. Part of the mid-biennium budget review (MBR), Am. Sub. H.B. 483 would allow communities to apply PILOT payments to “the provision of gas or electric service facilities owned by nongovernmental entities when such improvements are determined to be necessary for economic development purposes.” For more, read the full text of Am. Sub. H.B. 483.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Legal Developments  State 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 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 20, 2014

House committee approves bill that would allow parcel owners to opt out of incentive-district TIF
 

A bill introduced last June that would allow parcel owners to opt out of incentive-district TIFs was recently voted out of the Ohio House of Representatives State and Local Government Committee (See our June 11, 2013, blog post for more information). H.B. 198 would require new TIF districts to be square or rectangular – though if rectangular, the districts could not be too elongated. In addition, the legislation would require that TIF improvements benefit all parcels in the district and would require notice informing owners of property that will be partially within a proposed TIF that they have the right to exclude their property from the TIF district. For more, read the full Ohio Legislative Service Commission Bill Analysis of Am. H.B. 198.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Legal Developments  State 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 14, 2014

Economic development provisions included in Kasich administration’s second mid-biennium review budget bill
 

On March 11, 2014, Gov. John Kasich’s administration unveiled its second mid-biennium review budget bill (MBR). The bill, introduced as H.B. 472, highlights six major areas of interest for the administration, but includes many new policy and appropriation items. On Wednesday, March 12, Ohio House of Representatives Speaker William Batchelder (R-Medina) indicated that it is the House’s intent to divide the MBR into at least 11 bills, which would then be sent to committees for hearings. Below is a summary of the economic development components of the budget. Read this Bricker & Eckler publication for a comprehensive review of the MBR.


Incentive Requirements and Compliance

The MBR would establish August 1 as the uniform due date for reporting by recipients of state assistance through the Development Services Agency, the Ohio Venture Capital Authority, Third Frontier Commission, and the Ohio Coal Development Office.  Additionally, the MBR would require businesses seeking research and development financial assistance in connection with a relocation to notify local governments that will be affected by their relocation before entering into an agreement with the State for the assistance.  In the event that the recipient of a Research and Development Loan Tax Credit fails to comply with certain requirements related to its state assistance, the MBR would authorize the Development Services Agency to reduce the amount, percentage, and term of the tax credit.  Finally, the MBR would authorize the Development Services Agency to access Department of Taxation information as necessary to verify information provided by incentive recipients and to ensure compliance with tax laws.

JCTC Computations

The MBR would reduce the value of certain job creation tax credits during their first year.  Under continuing law, the value of a tax credit is equal to the income tax base revenue in the year at issue, minus the baseline income tax revenue in the twelve months before the Tax Credit Authority approves the project, multiplied by the tax credit percentage established by the Tax Credit Authority.  The MBR would eliminate a provision in current law providing that the baseline income tax revenue in the first year in the first year of the tax credit is to be reduced in proportion to the number of days in the year prior the tax credit in which the tax credit recipient was not eligible for the tax credit.  By eliminating this provision, the MBR would reduce the value of tax credits in their first year so that they will be based on the growth in income tax revenue for that year.

Municipal Tax Credits

The MBR clarifies that municipalities can offer job-creation tax credits and job-retention tax credits to employers, regardless of whether the employers also receive tax credit assistance from the Development Services Agency.


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

 

Mar 05, 2014

Newly founded VentureOhio is the first unified voice representing the state's entrepreneurs
 

The recently announced formation of the VentureOhio trade group is the "first unified voice representing" Ohio's entrepreneurial community, Columbus Business First reports. Its 45 founding members will work together to pursue policy initiatives that "promote the ecosystem that includes incubators, accelerators and universities." In addition to an annual investment report and policy recommendations, the group's 2014 agenda includes lobbying efforts for expansion of the Ohio Capital Fund as well as Ohio Third Frontier's pre-seed capitalization program, the article said. For more, read the full story.


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

 

Feb 28, 2014

Ohio among 16 states to achieve record export levels in 2013
 

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, Ohio was among 16 states that set new records for exports in 2013. That year, the state achieved $50.5 billion in exports, an increase of 3.9 percent from its 2012 total of $48.6 billion. An additional 10 states experienced merchandise export growth in 2013. "Total merchandise exports from the 50 U.S. states helped contribute to the record-setting value of goods and services exports, which reached $2.3 trillion in 2013" – a new record for the fourth consecutive year. For more, read the full news release and access this interact map with national and state merchandise trade data.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Federal Updates  State 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

Ohio Attorney General announces $1.5 million settlement with Buckeye Silicon for failing to create jobs
 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office announced last week that the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) and the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OADQDA) have reached a $1.5 million settlement with the Toledo manufacturing company Buckeye Silicon with respect to DSA and OAQDA financial assistance to the company. The company’s business plan involves the production of polysilicon for use in solar panels. The OAQDA loaned Buckeye Silicon $1,428,000 in October 2010 through its Advanced Energy Job Stimulus Program. That same month, the DSA provided the company with a $1.3 million Research and Development Loan. According to DSA Director David Goodman, however, the company "failed to fulfill commitments to repay Ohioans and create jobs." For more, read the full news release.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Legal Developments  State 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 19, 2014

Ohio House Public Utilities Committee holds hearing on bill to permit natural gas companies to apply for an infrastructure development rider
 

On Wednesday, the Ohio House of Representatives Public Utilities Committee will hold its second hearing on H.B. 319, which House Majority Whip Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) introduced in October to permit natural gas companies to apply for an infrastructure development rider to cover the costs of certain economic development projects. According to the Gongwer Ohio Report, the Leveraging Energy to Advance Development (LEAD) proposal "would permit natural gas companies to create new funds to extend utility infrastructure to the boundary of a development site," allowing local officials to "more aggressively pursue economic development that might not otherwise occur due to a lack of infrastructure." The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) would determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis. The rider would apply to all of the natural gas company's customers, and the "company's annual investment cannot exceed one percent of the utility's net plant investment utilized in establishing base rates in the  company's most recent base rate case," the article said. For more, read the full text of H.B. 319.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Legal Developments  State 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 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 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

 

Jan 30, 2014

Ohio's unemployment rate dropped to 7.2 percent in December
 

According to data released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODFJS), Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 7.2 percent – a 0.2 percent drop from its November rate of 7.4 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 7.0 percent in November to 6.7 percent in December, which is down from 7.9 percent in December 2012. The number of unemployed workers in Ohio decreased by 11,000 from 427,000 in November to 416,000 in December. During that time, the state's nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 5,000 to 5,200,600. For more, read the full news release and access the Current Civilian Labor Force Estimates.


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

 

Jan 25, 2014

Ohio Controlling Board approves seven Ohio Third Frontier loan requests totaling more than $7 million
 

The Ohio Controlling Board recently approved seven Ohio Third Frontier loan requests totaling more than $7 million, according to the Gongwer Ohio Report. In December, the Ohio Third Frontier Commission "announced $12.8 million worth of awards," which include the seven projects approved by the board (See our Dec 17, 2013, blog post – "Ohio Third Frontier approves $12.8 million in funding for 16 projects"). For more, read this Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) news release.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  State 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

 

Jan 23, 2014

Local leaders say ODOT's planning map will hinder economic development in Stark County
 

Officials for Canton and Stark County are calling for local businesses to provide comments on the Ohio Department of Transportation's (ODOT) Access Ohio 2040 plan, which was released in November, CantonRep.com reports. Officials and local business leaders fear that the map, which serves as the state's long-term draft transportation plan, "could hinder jobs from coming into Stark County in the coming decades." In particular, the groups are concerned about a move to downgrade Interstate 77 south of Canton from a "National Highway Corridor" to a "Statewide Highway Corridor," which they argue will reduce the likelihood of the stretch receiving state funding. They are also concerned that the map "ignores the prospect of expanding by 35 miles the U.S. Route 30 expressway east from Canton to state Route 11 in Columbiana County" – a project they say would "improve truck traffic access from Stark County to Pittsburgh and make it easier for energy companies to get to oil and gas drilling sites in Carroll and Columbiana counties," the article said. For more, read the full story.


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

 

Jan 14, 2014

Global automotive glassmaker to invest $200 million in a former GM plant in Moraine and create 800 jobs
 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced on Friday that the Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co. Ltd – the largest automotive glass supplier in China, with 65 percent of the market and 18 percent of the global automotive glass market – will build its first North American automotive facility in Moraine. The project, supported by the efforts of JobsOhio, is expected to create approximately 800 new jobs during the next five years and will involve a $200 million investment in more than one million square feet of the former GM Moraine plant. The facility is expected to be manufacturing glass by the end of 2015. Based on information from the foreign investment tracking organization FDI Markets, the deal will be "the largest Chinese investment ever made east of the Mississippi River and the largest Chinese automotive industry investment ever made in the U.S. since records have been kept." For more, read the full news release.


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

 

Jan 13, 2014

New Technology Concept Fund aims to help Ohio State University-licensed technologies become marketable
 

The Ohio Third Frontier program and Ohio State University have pooled $1 million to create the Technology Concept Fund to help the university "turn technologies into commercial applications that in turn will spur economic growth and create jobs in the state," The Columbus Dispatch reports. The fund will be managed by TechColumbus and will focus on technologies related to advanced materials, alternative energy, information technology and life sciences. Selected companies will receive cash during their earliest stages, and those that become successful will then plow cash back into the fund, making it "evergreen," the article said. For more, read the full story.


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

 

Jan 10, 2014

Federal Aviation Administration passes on Ohio and Indiana's joint application to serve as a drone test site
 

State officials are expressing disappointment over the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) recent decision to not include Ohio among its selected sites to test unmanned aerial vehicles, The Columbus Dispatch reports (See our Dec 19, 2013, blog post – "Ohio is positioning itself to be a player in the unmanned aircraft industry"). Four Western states – Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas – and the Eastern states of New York and Virginia were the six sites chosen. FAA officials said the choices were "based in part on geographic and climate diversity," the article said. Officials insist that despite the setback, Ohio will be a leader in this new industry. For more, read the full story.


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

 

Jan 09, 2014

Cleveland Fed reports that the Columbus area is "leading the state to recovery"
 

A report for the 4th quarter of 2013 from the Cleveland Fed found that the Columbus metropolitan area "continues to outperform" all other metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in Ohio and most others in the Midwest. The area benefits from its large share of institutional employers, including especially educational institutions, as well as the presence of the state capital and the "multiple Fortune 500 companies headquartered or doing business there." The report, "Columbus–leading the state to recovery," found that employment growth remains positive in the region, "with the healthcare and professional and business service sectors showing the greatest strength." For more, read the full report.


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

 

Jan 03, 2014

Ohio's unemployment rate dropped slightly in November to 7.4 percent
 

According to data released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODFJS), Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November decreased 0.1 percent from its October rate of 7.5 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 percent in October to 7.0 percent in November, which is down from 7.8 percent in November 2012. The number of unemployed workers in Ohio remained 427,000 during both October and November. During that time, the state's nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased by 12,000. For more, read the full news release and access the Current Civilian Labor Force Estimates.


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

 

Dec 30, 2013

JobsOhio to publish monthly report itemizing details about incentives, incentive recipients
 

JobsOhio recently announced that, beginning sometime in the first quarter of 2014, it will publish an itemized report "on its website within three business days of the end of each month" detailing which companies receive money, The Columbus Dispatch reports. All financial aid that "has been dispensed thus far" will be accounted for in that first report. The report also will include information about "the name of the company, its location, the amounts of jobs it will create or retain, the amount of capital the company plans to invest in its project and the amount of JobsOhio assistance it will receive," the article said. The type of incentive will also be identified in the report, the article said. For more, read the full story.


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

 

Dec 24, 2013

Constitutional Modernization Commission considers restrictions on public investments in private enterprises
 

As the Ohio Supreme Court continues to review claims challenging the creation of JobsOhio, members of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission's Finance, Taxation & Economic Development Committee have heard several witnesses testify as to whether "restrictions on transferring public funds to private interests" should be removed from the Ohio Constitution, according to the Gongwer Ohio Report. Ohio State University law professor Dale Oesterle, in justifying the restrictions, told the committee "that the constitution was the only way for policymakers to guard against the political pressure that threatens to bog governments down with debt." The committee also has heard testimony from former Ohio Department of Development director Lisa Patt-McDaniel, however, explaining that the "constitution's restrictions on using taxpayer funding for private enterprise" is "an impediment to job creation efforts." Although a 1965 constitutional amendment "alleviated the outright prohibition somewhat by allowing state and political subdivisions to help finance private projects involving construction, equipment and facilities," Patt-McDaniel testified that the limitations relating to the kinds of economic development activities permitted by the Ohio Constitution should be removed so that the General Assembly can serve as the "gatekeeper to determine appropriate job-creating efforts," the article said.


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

 

Dec 20, 2013

AG report highlights importance of economic development incentive compliance
 

Capping a groundbreaking year for economic development incentive compliance in Ohio, the Ohio Attorney General’s office released its 2013 report on incentives offered by the State of Ohio through the Ohio Development Services Agency. The annual report, which is required by Ohio Revised Code Section 125.112, is the fourth of its kind. This year’s report focuses on incentives with 2012 closeout dates. It identifies noncompliance with respect to 120 awards — approximately 45 percent of the awards reviewed.

The report underscores the increasing importance of accountability and transparency in economic development. This year has been packed with milestone events in incentive compliance, including forceful efforts by governmental entities to enforce compliance and unprecedented media scrutiny of incentives. If the ongoing litigation and political spats relating to the accountability and transparency of JobsOhio are any indication, these trends will intensify throughout 2014. For more, click here.


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

 

Dec 19, 2013

Ohio is positioning itself to be a player in the unmanned aircraft industry
 

A study funded by the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) and administered by the Dayton Development Coalition aims to determine what the military's needs are with regard to unmanned aircraft or drones, the Dayton Business Journal reports. The central focus of the study, which is expected to be completed early next year, is "to solve military airspace requirements in a way that meets the needs of other airspace users," the article said. The state is attempting to get ahead of what it views as a burgeoning billion-dollar industry and is working with Indiana to obtain from the Federal Aviation Administration a designation that the UAS Center & Test Complex in Springfield will be "one of six sites across the country to test the integration of unmanned systems in the nation's airspace system." For more, read the full story.


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

 

Dec 17, 2013

Ohio Third Frontier approves $12.8 million in funding for 16 projects
 

Last Wednesday, the Ohio Third Frontier Commission approved "more than $12.8 million to fund cutting-edge biomedical companies and help entrepreneurs and technology start-up companies get their businesses off the ground," The Business Journal reports. The paper provides a detailed outline of the awards, which are summarized briefly below.


2013 Ohio Third Frontier Commercial Acceleration Loan Fund:

  • Synapse Biomedical in Oberlin will receive $2.4 million loan to help secure regulatory approval for its NeuRx DPS platform.
  • Intellirod Spine in Akron will receive $1.6 million loan to help bring its post-lumbar spine fusion medical device to market.
  • Cleveland Medical Devices in Cleveland will receive $1 million loan to "expand the commercialization of its home sleep apnea testing."
  • Nanofiber Solutions in Columbus will receive a $1.5 million loan to bring new products to market that are made using their "unique tissue engineering scaffolds."


2013 Ohio Third Frontier Incubation Program:

  • Akron Development Corp. of Akron will receive $500,000 for its Akron Global Business Accelerator.
  • BioEnterprise Corp. in Cleveland will receive $350,000 to continue providing business assistance to incubator tenants and to "maintain a quality biomedical research facility for the region."
  • Dayton-Miami Valley Entrepreneurs Center Inc. in Dayton will receive $450,000 to provide business incubation services and leased space at The Entrepreneurs Center.
  • Hamilton County Business Center Inc. in Cincinnati will receive $500,000 to provide space and services to start-ups.
  • Lorain County Community College in Elyria will receive $350,000 to offer entrepreneurial assistance and training through the Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise (GLIDE) Incubator.
  • MAGNET in Cleveland will receive $450,000 to support its incubator and to "provide access to capital to help accelerate commercialization."
  • Mansfield/Richland Incubator Inc. in Mansfield will receive $450,000 to provide business incubation services at the Braintree Business Development Center.
  • Ohio University in Athens will receive $350,000 to provide facilities and technical support services through its Innovation Center.
  • TechColumbus, Inc. in Columbus will receive $600,000 to provide "venture acceleration services, direct investment capital and facilities" as the SpringBox Labs incubator in central Ohio.
  • The University of Toledo in Toledo will receive $450,000 to "provide facilities, business development, access to capital and commercialization expertise to technology-based start-up companies located within an 18-county area of Northwest Ohio" through its Launch Pad Incubation Program.
  • The Youngstown Business Incubator in Youngstown will receive $450,000 to provide entrepreneurial support to start-up companies in the fields of information technology and additive manufacturing.

2013 Ohio Third Frontier Industrial Research and Development Center Program:

  • The Cleveland Clinic was "awarded a cost share commitment of $1.5 million from the Ohio Third Frontier's Industrial Research and Development Center Program" that will complement a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant awarded to the clinic for the establishment of the National Center for Accelerated Innovations.


For more, read the full story and access the presentation for the Dec 11, 2913, Ohio Third Frontier Advisory Board and Commission Meetings.


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

 

Dec 13, 2013

Dayton requests $3 million in state funding for a $55 million development project that would create 260 new jobs
 

According to an application recently submitted to the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC), the City of Dayton is "seeking $3 million in state funding to help an undisclosed user build a new 250,000 square-foot facility in the greater downtown area," the Dayton Daily News reports. Code named Project Elwood, the $55 million proposed development is among 92 applications that the DDC has received as part of the 2014 State Capital Bill process, in which the coalition ranks and then recommends that certain projects receive funding from the state. The application says that the facility would be near the company's existing location, but the company itself remains undisclosed. If realized, the project would result in 260 new hires over the next few years, "in call center personnel and IT support, sales, marketing and support services," the article said. For more, read the full story.


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

 

Dec 13, 2013

Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. picks former ODSA chief to be its new president and CEO
 

The Seneca Industrial Economic Development Corp. recently named David Zak, chief of the Business Services Division at the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA), as its new president and CEO, The Courier reports. Zak will replace Rich Focht, who is "retiring at year-end after 24 years in the post." Prior to his current position, which he has held since 2011, Zak served as the vice president of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the economic development director for Fairfield County and as the international business liaison for the Ohio Department of Development. For more, read the full story.


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

 

Dec 09, 2013

Ohio Tax Credit Authority approves 11 projects
 

The Kasich administration recently announced that the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) had approved tax credit awards for 11 projects set to create 733 jobs and to retain 310 jobs statewide. These projects are expected to generate more than $35 million in new payroll and $152 million in investments statewide. The approved projects are:

Ride Corporation will receive a 35 percent, six-year Job Creation Tax Credit for a new location project at a location (to be determined) that is expected to create 40 full-time positions and to generate $1 million in additional payroll.

SK Food Group dba SK Food Group NAHQ will receive a 55 percent, 10-year Job Creation Tax Credit for a new location project at a location (to be determined) that is expected to create 253 full-time positions and to generate $7.7 million in additional payroll.

Central Ohio:


Famous Enterprises, Inc. will receive a 40 percent, five-year Job Creation Tax Credit for a new location project in Columbus, Franklin County, that is expected to create 20 full-time positions and to generate $1 million in additional payroll.

Greenville Technology, Inc. dba Moriroku Technology North America will receive a 50 percent, eight-year Job Creation Tax Credit for a new location project in Marysville, Union County, that is expected to create 50 full-time positions, to generate $2.8 million in additional payroll and to retain $1.9 million in existing payroll.

Harris, Mackessy & Brennan, Inc. will receive a 45 percent, seven-year Job Creation Tax Credit for an expansion project in Westerville, Delaware County, that is expected to create 75 full-time positions, to generate $5.6 million in additional payroll and to retain $11.6 million in existing payroll.

Northeast Ohio:

Matalco Inc. will receive a 50 percent, eight-year Job Creation Tax Credit for a new location project in the Village of Lordstown, Trumbull County, that is expected to create 60 full-time positions and to generate $4 million in additional payroll.

Mesnac Americas Co., Ltd. will receive a 40 percent, five-year Job Creation Tax Credit for a new location project in Akron, Summit County, that is expected to create 35 full-time positions and to generate $3.9 million in additional payroll.

Pennex Aluminum Company, LLC will receive a 45 percent, six-year Job Creation Tax Credit for an expansion project in the Village of Leetonia, Columbiana County, that is expected to create 65 full-time positions, to generate $2.3 million in new payroll and to retain $3 million in existing payroll.

Southwest Ohio:

AIM MRO Holdings, Inc. will receive a 40 percent, five-year Job Creation Tax Credit for an expansion project in Miami Township, Clermont County, that is expected to create 50 full-time positions and to generate $3 million in additional payroll.

AlvaEDU will receive a 45 percent, six-year Job Creation Tax Credit for a new location project in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, that is expected to create 50 full-time positions and to generate $3 million in additional payroll.

Tom and Chee Worldwide LLC will receive a 45 percent, seven-year Job Creation Tax Credit for an expansion project in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, that is expected to create 65 full-time positions, to generate $3.5 million in additional payroll and to retain $215,385 in existing payroll.

For more, read the full press release.


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

 

Dec 05, 2013

Ohio House Bill 375 introduces new oil and gas severance tax proposal, with industry support
 

Yesterday, Ohio Rep. Matt Huffman (R-Lima) introduced a new severance tax proposal in the Ohio House of Representatives. Co-sponsors of the bill include many House Republican leaders, including Speaker of the House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina).  The new severance tax proposal: (i) reduces the severance tax rate on persons extracting oil and natural gas by means other than horizontal wells (e.g., traditional vertical drilling); (ii) imposes a tax on the net proceeds of oil and natural gas produced through horizontal wells; (iii) provides a non-refundable credit against the state income tax equal to the amount of the horizontal severance tax paid by the taxpayer (which includes the oil and gas producer with a working interest or landowner with a royalty interest); and (iv) provides an exclusion from the commercial activity tax (CAT) for proceeds of the sale of oil and gas by persons paying the severance tax applicable to the use of horizontal wells. A copy of H.B. 375 (as introduced) is available here, and a summary of the bill put together by attorneys at Bricker & Eckler LLP is available here.

By way of background, Gov. John Kasich earlier this year proposed a severance tax as part of H.B. 59, his biennial budget bill. Amid pressure from the oil and gas industry, House Republicans removed the language in April (See our July 26, 2013, blog post – "Oil and gas industry lobbied hard against Gov. Kasich's proposed severance tax hike"). Ohio Oil and Gas Association Executive Vice President Tom Stewart said that the new industry-backed proposal "would lower taxes for conventional oil and gas producers and eliminate the threat of higher taxes for the state's thousands of royalty owners and landowners...and [that it] earmarks excess revenue for a reduction in the personal income tax for all Ohioans," according to the Gongwer Ohio Report. An article in The Columbus Dispatch reports that H.B.375 would raise an estimated $1.7 billion over 10 years by taxing oil and gas "at one percent for the first five years of production," which would increase to two percent "if the well is producing at a high level." The new revenue would be divided three ways: "for oil and gas drilling regulation; for a fund to clean up Ohio's more than 5,000 uncapped 'orphan' wells; and for annual statewide income-tax cuts," the article said.  For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Legal Developments  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Dec 03, 2013

Mary Cusick becomes TourismOhio's first director
 

Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) Director David Goodman announced recently that Mary Cusick, a hospitality and marketing industry leader, was selected to be the first director for TourismOhio, effective Monday. Cusick, who formerly spent several years as the chief marketing officer at Bob Evans Farms, Inc., leaves her position as executive director of the Initiative for Managing Services at the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business to lead TourismOhio. In her new position, Cusick "will work with the TourismOhio Advisory Board to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for the state as well as ways to increase the number of visitors to Ohio and get them to stay longer." Cusick is the first director of the newly established office, which received funding as a five-year pilot program through Gov. Kasich's biennial budget bill, H.B. 59. For more, read the full press release.
 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Dec 02, 2013

Ohio's unemployment rate was 7.4 in September and 7.5 percent in October
 

According to data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in September and 7.5 percent in October, up from 7.3 percent in August. The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in September and 7.3 percent in October, up from 6.9 percent in October 2012. The number of unemployed workers in Ohio was 425,000 in September and 427,000 in October, up from 419,000 in August. The state's nonagricultural wage and salary employment was 5,202,400 in September and 5,204,800 in October. For more, read the full press release and access the Current Civilian Labor Force Estimates.


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

 

Nov 25, 2013

Ohio drops to fourth in Site Selection's 2013 rankings of state business climates
 

In its 2013 Top State Business Climate Rankings, Site Selection magazine ranked Ohio fourth – down two spots from last year, Dayton Business Journal reports. The state ranked second for new plants in 2012, fifth for new plants so far in 2013, sixth for competitiveness and tenth based on the survey of business executives. Ohio had jumped seven spots to second in 2012, and also received the Governor's Cup that year for having the most new projects announced of any state in 2011 (See our Nov 6, 2012, blog post for more information). For more, read the full Site Selection cover story.

 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Nov 21, 2013

Ohio Rep. Kirk Schuring introduces H.B. 358 to impose a 90-day moratorium on the creation of most new JEDDs and JEDZs
 

Ohio Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) has introduced emergency legislation, House Bill 358, that would impose a 90-day moratorium on the creation of most new Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDDs) and Joint Economic Development Zones (JEDZs). House Bill 358 also would restrict the ability of townships and municipal corporations to amend existing contracts during the 90-day period. For more, read the full text of H.B. 358.


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

 

Nov 14, 2013

Clean Ohio Council approves more than $6 million in grants in its final meeting
 

During its final meeting, the Clean Ohio Council approved more than $6 million in Clean Ohio Revitalization grants for five projects across the state, the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) announced. The program is sun-setting and will be replaced by the JobsOhio Revitalization Program, which will commit up to $43 million annually for revitalization projects and will have an increased focus on job creation (See our Nov 11, 2013, blog post for more information).

The City of Dayton received a $900,000 grant to clean up asbestos at the Kettering Center, which has been closed since the asbestos was discovered in 2007. Wright State University has committed to renovate the building after the cleanup.

The City of Cleveland received a $3 million grant for the Flats East Bank redevelopment project, which will create a 300,000-square-foot retail and office complex as well as 72 residential units.

The Stark County Port Authority received a $1,275,000 grant to clean up the former Alliance Community Hospital in Alliance. The hospital will work with Stark State Community College to construct a 100,000-square-foot facility for a new satellite school that will offer healthcare training.

The City of Columbus received a $1 million grant to clean up the LC RiverSouth property downtown. Upon completion, Lifestyle Communities, Ltd. will develop an eight-story building with 106 residential units, a parking garage and first-floor retail space.

The City of Marion received a $340,589 grant to help demolish and remediate the former Fairfield Engineering site. Carksco Properties LLC plans to develop the property for industrial use after the cleanup.

For more, read the full press release.


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

 

Nov 14, 2013

Ohio House passes H.B. 5
 

On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill designed to simplify Ohio’s patchwork of municipal income tax laws and make them more uniform. The bill, H.B. 5, passed on a vote of 56-39.

The bill has been the subject of intense lobbying by both the business community and Ohio municipalities. Some of the more controversial issues involve uniform rules requiring a 5-year net operating loss carry-forward period; the use of common-law tests to determine residency; the taxation of pass-through entities and their owners; and the taxation of occasional entrants into a municipality, or individuals who may enter several municipalities during a single day. The bill also includes provisions addressing income apportionment, consolidated returns, and uniform forms and filing dates.

The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. Review the full bill here.


 
Posted by M. Engel in  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Nov 13, 2013

Bipartisan legislation aims to spur economic development by loosening open container laws
 

A bipartisan bill being considered in the Ohio Senate looks to encourage economic development by loosening the state's open alcoholic container laws, Cincinnati.com reports. Under the proposed legislation, "[m]ore than a dozen Ohio cities and townships would be able to create up to three open-container districts each, depending on their population." Ohio Sen. Eric Kearney (D-Cincinnati) introduced S.B. 116 in April, with "a committee vote likely late this year or when the General Assembly returns in March," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  Legal Developments  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Nov 11, 2013

JobsOhio launches new Clean Ohio Fund program
 

The Clean Ohio Fund, which has distributed nearly $400 million in grants to encourage the remediation of brownfields across the state since 2002, is being reorganized under JobsOhio, The Columbus Dispatch reports (See our March 01, 2013, blog post for more information). Among other changes, JobsOhio plans to focus on loan support for projects. The new JobsOhio program will commit $43 million a year to cleanup projects across the state that promise to "create businesses and jobs." Housing projects will not be eligible for support under the reorganized program. JobsOhio expects that it will make program funding available on a rolling basis starting in March, the article said. For more, read the full story.


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

 

Oct 29, 2013

Toledo Blade investigates compliance in state economic development incentive programs
 

The Toledo Blade has published a three-part series analyzing economic development incentives provided by the Ohio Development Services Agency and its predecessor, the Ohio Department of Development. The series examines compliance by state award recipients as well as efforts by the state to monitor and enforce noncompliance. For more, read part 1, part 2 and part 3.  


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

 

Oct 28, 2013

Two Ohio economic development entities receive federal grants to help bring jobs to the United States
 

Two Ohio organizations – the Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District of Reno, Ohio, and the N.E.O. Foundation of Cleveland – were among 10 organizations awarded a total of $20.5 million worth of grants for "their work encouraging companies to bring jobs to the United States," The Columbus Dispatch reports. Buckeye Hills received $1.7 million for workforce training and also to "help identify, research and document attributes of up to 1,000 development sites" in the eight southeastern Ohio counties that it represents. N.E.O. received $1.79 million to "help identify up to 25 firms with the potential to attract foreign investment from the biomedical, automotive and advanced-energy sectors in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Lorain and Youngstown," as well as for technical assistance and workforce hiring and training in advanced-materials development. For more, read the full story.


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

 

Oct 24, 2013

New substitute bill on municipal tax simplification unveiled
 

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee held a conference at which they unveiled a substitute version of House Bill 5. The bill proposes sweeping changes to Ohio’s municipal income tax laws, attempting to bring a greater degree of uniformity to municipal income taxation in the state.

Significant provisions of the substitute bill include a list of factors to determine residency for municipal tax purposes; mandating a five-year period for carrying forward net operating losses; extension of the number of days that an employee can be present within a jurisdiction before the employer is required to withhold tax on wages paid to the employee from 13 to 21; and uniform deadlines for filing returns, paying tax, and claiming refunds.

The bill has generated a great deal of controversy between business interests, which have been pushing hard for the changes, and municipal jurisdictions that are already reeling from reductions in state money and fearing further losses in revenue. Read more about the bill here.


 
Posted by M. Engel in  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Oct 23, 2013

Federal Reserve reports modest growth in Ohio's economy during the past six weeks
 

According to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report, Ohio's economy expanded modestly during the past six weeks despite sluggish hiring, the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Strong retail sales occurred in August and September, while sales of new and existing homes were better than a year ago. Due in large part to low natural gas prices, shale gas activity held steady with record-high production levels. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. McCarthy in  State Updates   |   Permalink

 

Oct 15, 2013

Heads of the Ohio DSA and JobsOhio discuss the state's economic outlook
 

Area Development magazine recently discussed Ohio's economic outlook with two of the state's most important economic development officials – John Minor, president and chief investment officer of JobsOhio, and David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA). In addition to discussing the dynamics of their operations, which formerly operated under the single entity the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), the two described challenges they are facing, areas where they expect growth, and current initiatives designed to make the state's workforce more appealing to businesses. For more, read the full interview.


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

 

Oct 14, 2013

Budget bill removes PILOTs from the school funding formula