Ohio Offers Opportunities for Investors and Communities

Jul 30, 2019 | News, Newsletter

Ohio Development Services Agency

 

Communities across Ohio are realizing their possibilities for growth because of the investments Ohio is undertaking. Ohio has 320 Qualified Opportunity Zones in 73 counties, and the Ohio Development Services Agency is working to help local communities make the most of the opportunities.

“Ohio communities are competing with communities across the country for the same investment dollars,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of economic development for the state. “Development will provide the tools that give Ohio communities the edge to create maximum economic impact.”

Governor Mike DeWine upped the ante to lure investors to the Ohio Opportunity Zones. Nationwide, the zones are eligible for federal incentives through the 2017 tax reform legislation. Governor DeWine has proposed adding a 10 percent tax credit to Qualified Opportunity Zone investments.

Now, Development is working with local communities and investors to make the most of the state and federal incentives. In April, Development formally launched its initiative with an Opportunity Zones Showcase that brought hundreds of people to Columbus to learn more. At the event, Lt. Governor Jon Husted unveiled a website – opportunityzones.ohio.gov – that allows communities to pitch their potential to investors in one place. It also allows investors to go to one site to view all of the opportunities Ohio has to offer. These are among the reasons Ohio is setting itself apart from other states in the race for Opportunity Zone investments.

The efforts already are paying dividends in communities across the state. In Cleveland, for instance, the Ohio City neighborhood is attracting investors for projects around the West Side Market. It’s bringing in new housing, new business and one of the largest mass timber projects in the country. See more about the project here by clicking on the video link below.

Local economic development officials can market their Opportunity Zones by visiting opportunityzones.ohio.gov and entering information about their investment and development opportunities.

Ohio Ports Eligible for $23 Million in Development Funding

A new program  — the Ohio Maritime Assistance Program program — is providing funding to ports along the Ohio River and Lake Erie or businesses within ports.

The Program began accepting applications from ports in late January and will continue through March 27. The program is making available $11 million through June 30 and an additional $12 million for the 12 months ending June 30, 2021.

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Large TIFs may be eligible for one-time extension opportunity

During fall 2019, the General Assembly changed Ohio law governing tax increment financing (“TIF”) exemptions in a big way.  For certain TIF projects, local communities can extend the exemptions – and therefore continue to redirect property tax millage to necessary public infrastructure improvements – up to 30 additional years. 

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