OEDA Member Alert: Update on Federal Economic Development Matters
Several year-end changes occurred to federal programs that may be of interest to OEDA members.
The Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in late December preserved the main provisions of Private Activity Bonds (PABs), Historic Preservation Tax Credits (HPTC) and New Markets Tax Credits. Unfortunately, the Act repealed tax-exemption for advance refunding bonds issued after December 31, 2017.
The same law created a new tool aimed at helping areas of the country that have not yet experienced economic recovery, the “Opportunity Zones” investment program. For states to participate in the program, their governors must first designate specific distressed areas of their states that will be classified as “opportunity zones”. Investors who have capital gains from a sale or exchange of a prior investment may then defer paying taxes on those gains for up to 9 years, if they invest the gains within 180 days in an “Opportunity Fund” which will then invest in an approved opportunity zone.
The Act uses the same definition of a “Low-Income Community” that is used by the new markets tax credit program as the basis for defining an Opportunity Zone, and up to 25 percent of a state’s low-income community population census tracts may be designated as qualified Opportunity Zones. Potentially-qualifying areas of Ohio can be found at: https://www.development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_censustracts.htm
Opportunity Funds will be organized by various entities and must be certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury pursuant to rules still being developed. They will be required to hold at least 90 percent of their assets in qualified opportunity zone businesses and/or business properties.
This new program was apparently the work of bipartisan efforts lead by Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.).
The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) will host a webinar on the topic this Thursday, February 15 at 1:00 pm EST. For more information, go to: https://www.cdfa.net/cdfa/cdfaweb.nsf/0/528221E09B0D21FA88258225006FE04B
Housing demand outstrips supply so much that developers can be – and are – very selective about where they choose to invest. Factors like land price, annexation and zoning processes, infrastructure costs, density, and community design specs will make or break a developer’s go-or-no-go decision. This panel discussion will provide insights into developers’ decision-making processes, as well as help direct the focus of local economic developers to those areas in which they can add value in housing discussions.
The Call for Presentations for the OEDA Annual Summit to be held September 4-6, 2024, at the Glass City Center in Toledo, Ohio, is now open. The Annual Summit offers a unique platform to highlight innovative solutions, spark discussions, and share impactful strategies that have positively influenced communities. The Annual Summit organizers are seeking speakers to provide a variety of high quality educational sessions to attendees.
The Ohio Economic Development Association has announced JP Nauseef and Dr. Ned Hill as the keynote presenters for the upcoming Ohio Basic Economic Development Course, April 29-May 2, in Dublin, Ohio. JP Nauseef, the President and CEO of JobsOhio, which has been described as the “best in class state economic development partnership,” will welcome the Basic Course students and Keynote the course. Dr. Ned Hill, a recognized national expert in economic growth, regional development, and economic development, will kick off the course by covering “What is Economic Development and What is the Job of an Economic Development Professional?”