Tracked Senate Bills – December 2021

Dec 21, 2021 | Advocacy

Jeffry Harris
Bricker & Eckler LLP



Federal News:

Hello, Senator Manchin.  It’s you again.  President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan on the ropes:  The Biden Administration’s multi-trillion dollar climate change and economic plan was torpedoed December 19 by Senator Joe Manchin III (D – West Virginia) during a television appearance.  In his comments on Fox News Sunday, the Senator declared he could not support his party’s signature legislative measure.  His lack of support dooms the bill, as written, in the 50-50 chamber.

As passed by the House on November 19, the $2.2T plan includes paid family leave, universal pre-Kindergarten, and (finally) allows the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices under the Medicare program.

This being Washington, and crafty bedfellows who say interesting things on television, the measure still could pass.  Particularly because the Senator allegedly submitted his own outline for a plan last week that largely mirrored the bill he’s now walked away from.

If it passes, this bill is a doozy.  Fully $555B is proposed to deal with climate change, marking the single-largest action ever taken by the U.S. to address its status as the historical world’s biggest-polluter (only recently overtaken by China).  (Compare: the federal government’s previous record-setting fiscal response to climate change was $80B in 2009 during the Obama Administration.)

With “extreme weather events” occurring on a regular, year-over-year basis, natural disasters goaded disparate interests to work together on this plan’s climate change programming.  In fact, many of those same interests – farmers, food companies – killed President Obama’s climate change plans only ten years ago.

Deal components would include the following, by category:

Family support:

  • Child care entitlement program for children up to 5 YOA, with families’ child care expenses capped at 7% of adjusted gross income;
  • 4 weeks of paid family and medical leave for all workers; and,
  • Free preschool – via funding to states – for children 3 and 4 YOA.

Responses to climate change:

  • $144B in renewable electricity tax credits;
  • $81B to reduce air pollution and for lead waterline replacement;
  • $26B in green manufacturing and workforce tax credits; and,
  • $22B in electric vehicle purchase tax credits and charging station infrastructure development, including purchase tax credits of up to $12,500/car, depending on the extent a given EV is composed of American-made parts.


  • $24B for affordable housing development (note tie-in to ARPA, as this is also an eligible use of funds as a response to the COVID-19 public health emergency); and,
  • Increases the availability of low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC).

Economic and workforce development:

  • $24B for worker training programs, including apprenticeships and industry partnership programs; and,
  • $5B for manufacturing supply chain improvements.

How to pay for it?  Tax increases levied on corporations and the (very) wealthy:

  • For the highest earners, the plan increases the top tax rate to 45% on ordinary income; to the top marginal rate of 37%, add a 5% surtax on adjusted gross incomes more than $10MM, and a 8% surtax on AGIs more than $25MM.
  • The IRS would get additional funds to conduct audits of those making more than $400,000/year.
  • For corporations which have a history of little to no federal tax liability, a 15% minimum tax (applies to companies with more than $1B in “book income,” or profits that are reported to shareholders but not to the IRS).
  • For corporations that engage in stock buy-backs, a 1% surcharge.

For corporations’ foreign earnings, increasing to 15% (from current 10 ½%) tax.

State News:

New ODOD Brownfields & Building Demolition grant funds launched:  On December 7, Governor DeWine issued an executive order that immediately released rules relating to ODOD’s $500 million in new funding for site cleanup.  These new rules, valid through April 6, 2022, concern the two new funding lines inserted into the State’s operating budget (HB 110):

  • Brownfield Remediation Program

New R.C. Section 122.6511 establishes the Brownfield Remediation Fund, with $1M held back in reserve for each of Ohio’s 88 counties during SFY 2022.  The General Assembly appropriated $350MM total under HB 110.  The remaining $262MM is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Eligible applicants include units of local government: counties; townships; municipalities; port authorities; and park districts.

These funds are directed to assessments or clean-up of brownfields under Ohio law, which are comprised of “abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial, commercial, or institutional property [and] where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by known or potential releases of hazardous substances or petroleum” (see R.C. Section 122.65(D)).

Funds may be used to pay for environmental site assessments (phases 1 and 2), up to $300,000; or for clean-up and remediation, up to $10MM.  There is no local match required on the first $1M per county (under its set-aside amount), with 25% local match required (i.e., ODOD will fund up to 75% of a project’s total costs) for any grant funds awarded to a county in excess of its set-aside.

  • Building Demolition & Site Revitalization Program

New R.C. Section 122.6512 establishes the Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Fund, with $500,000 reserved for each county during SFY 2022.  The General Assembly appropriated $150MM total.  Note the remaining $106MM is neither merit-based nor capped as to grant amount; funds are available on a first-in-line basis.

Eligible sites are vacant commercial and residential buildings, on sites that are not brownfields.

Funds are applied for by so-called “lead entities,” which are county land banks, or, if a county lacks its own land bank, then the county commissioners or another unit of local government.

There is no local match required on the first $500,000 per county (under its set-aside amount), with 25% local match required (i.e., ODOD will fund up to 75% of a project’s total costs) for any grant funds awarded to a county in excess of its set-aside.


(Changes from last month are noted in BOLD):


SJR 2 WATER QUALITY BONDS (Gavarone, T., Yuko, K.)  This Resolution proposes to enact Section 2t of Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution to permit the issuance of general obligation bonds to fund clean water improvements.


SB 8 BROADBAND SERVICES (McColley, R.) Introduced on January 21, 2021, this bill addresses broadband expansion, including access to electric cooperative easements and facilities, and to make an appropriation. Note the companion HB 2 in the lower chamber, which has been signed into law by Governor DeWine.

This bill is a refresh of House Bill 13 (133rd General Assembly), which failed in the final stretch to enactment during the lame duck last session. Sponsor Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) notes this version represents a negotiated substitute bill that had been poised for adoption last December.

This bill seeks to establish an Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Program (R.C. 122.40 et seq.) to induce internet providers to construct last-mile infrastructure to underserved areas, particularly in rural Ohio. Changes since the last General Assembly’s version include moving the program to ODOD, with the agency reviewing grant applications for the proposed Broadband Expansion Program Authority.

This Senate vehicle appropriates $20MM to the ODOD program in state fiscal year 2022.

After three hearings before the Senate Energy & Public Utilities Committee during late January and February, the Senate unanimously adopted the measure on February 10; it now moves to the House, where is has been referred to the House Finance Committee.

SB 10 ELECTRIC RATES (Romanchuk, M.). This bill seeks to change to two (2) FirstEnergy-friendly rate provisions: (a) repealing HB 6’s so-called “decoupling mechanism” that allowed FirstEnergy to lock its annual guaranteed revenue at 2018 levels – or $978MM/year; and (b) repealing the prior state budget bill’s modification to the significantly excessive earnings test (or SEET) determination as to whether FirstEnergy utilities obtained significantly excessive earnings that must be refunded (the budget bill had allowed FirstEnergy to combine figures across its three companies, offsetting gains at Ohio Edison with those from less profitable companies under its umbrella). Note the companion HB 128 in the lower chamber. This legislation leaves unchanged HB 6’s nuclear subsidies for the FirstEnergy power plants.

During February, the Senate Energy & Public Utilities Committee held three hearings, with the Senate unanimously passing the bill on February 17. The bill has been referred to the House Public Utilities Committee.

SB 13 CONTRACT LIMITATIONS (Lang, G.). This bill shortens the period of limitations for actions upon a contract; makes changes to the borrowing statute pertaining to applicable periods of limitations; and establish a statute of repose for a legal malpractice actions. Note the companion HB 53 in the lower chamber. The bill was heard and reported out by the Senate Judiciary Committee in early February, passed the Senate by unanimous vote on February 3, and passed the House by unanimous vote on February 24. The measure was signed into law by Governor DeWine on March 16 and takes effect 90 days hence.

SB 19 TAX EXEMPTION (Schaffer, T.) Introduced on January 26, this bill establishes a property tax exemption for certain property used for wetland mitigation projects. Specifically, this legislation codifies into law a current practice for property used in wetland mitigation projects used by nonprofit organizations. Bill sponsor, Sen. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster), noted, “If counties decide that they can charge property taxes on these wetlands, we would drastically hurt development that would normally occur in our districts,”

After the Senate Ways & Means Committee quickly reported out the measure, the Senate unanimously passed the bill on February 24.

The House passed the measure on June 28 (by a 59-36 vote), with amendments to reflect minor changes in this tax exemption’s application filing process.  Importantly, during its passage, the bill became an omnibus tax policy update, with changes including an imposition of limits on tax revenue options available to the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA).  Relevant to economic developers, the measure also included language from HB 51’s proposed process by which county auditors could initiate themselves (i.e., without need for property owner’s application) any changes to taxable value arising from destroyed / damaged property.

On November 10, the Senate declined to accept the House-passed version; in turn, on November 18, the House formally insisted the Senate accept the lower chamber’s amendments.

SB 32 CHARGING STATIONS (Rulli, M.) This bill would require the Director of ODOT to establish an electric vehicle charging station grant rebate program and to make an appropriation. Note the companion HB 47 in the lower chamber. This measure had its first hearing before the Senate Transportation Committee on February 17.

SB 44 ENERGY LAW (Rulli, M., Cirino, J.) Introduced on February 2, 2021, this bill seeks to repeal the nuclear resource credit payment provisions, and amend, and rename as solar resource, the renewable resource credit payment provisions of H.B. 6 of the 133rd General Assembly. Note the companion SB 128 in the lower chamber.

Sponsors Sen. Jerry Cirino (R-Kirtland) and Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) note their proposal takes a more targeted approach to addressing the ongoing uncertainty over the future of last session’s HB 6. Specifically, this bill repeals the nuclear subsidies program portion of HB 6 while maintaining previous bill’s $20MM in annual solar subsidies. All other aspects of HB6 would remain in place. By design, Sen. Cirino noted, “It doesn’t open up the whole of House Bill 6 for negotiation”; the Senator represents a district in which is located one of the subject nuclear energy plants.

This measure was approved unanimously by the Senate on March 2. It was referred to the House on March 9.

SB 45 TAX INDUCEMENTS (Peterson, B., Kunze, S.) Introduced on February 2, 2021, this bill seeks to enhance state and local tax inducements for businesses making substantial fixed asset and employment investments and their suppliers. The measure had its third hearing before the Senate Ways & Means Committee on February 23.

SB 52 WIND FARMS (Reineke, B., McColley, R.) Introduced February 9, 2021, this bill requires inclusion of safety specifications in wind farm certificate applications, modifies wind turbine setbacks, and permits a township referendum vote on certain wind farm and solar facility certificates. Note the companion HB 118 in the lower chamber.

This bill, allowing for local prohibitions on wind turbine and solar projects, gained and lost various provisions during its journey to enactment.  (Those fits and starts appear in prior months’ Bricker reports.)

Governor DeWine signed the bill into law on July 12; it takes effect 90 days hence.  The final enacted version had the following key elements:

  • A renewable energy developer must hold a public meeting in the proposed impacted community within six months prior to submitting a project application to the Ohio Power Siting Board.  During the public hearing, the developer must provide county commissioners with project documentation, including maximum nameplate capacity and its proposed boundaries.  Thereafter, county commissioners would have a 90-day window in which to: (i) do nothing (i.e., de facto approval); (ii) pass a resolution banning the project outright; or (iii) pass a resolution limiting the geographic area of the project.
  • County commissioners are authorized to pass a resolution prior to any potential project to designate a restricted area in which any such construction is prohibited.  Further, county commissioners must provide public notice to taxing entities in effected areas of a pending vote to designate a restricted area.
  • Creates two (2) new ad-hoc voting seats on the Ohio Power Siting Board when voting on such projects (the new seats would be occupied, on a case-by-case basis, by a county commissioner and township trustee from areas within the footprint of the project being voted on).  These ad hoc members are voting members, and must be named within 30 days after receiving notice of an application.  The ad hoc OPSB members must be either a resident or another elected official from the respective political subdivision.  These ad hoc members are prohibited from voting on their own commissioners / trustees boards as to local legislation to intervene on the state proceeding.  These ad hoc members may engage in ex parte communications with any party in the case.
  • The bill applies its provisions to “material amendments” to an existing facility, which is defined as changes to a facility’s generation type, increased nameplate capacity, modified boundaries in most cases, or increased number or height of wind turbines.
  • Applies current law to economically significant or large wind farms that have incomplete applications pending with the Siting Board for up to 30 days after this bill’s effective date.

A Bricker-authored article was published as this bill was being delivered to Governor DeWine for his signature, available at the following link:

SB 57 EXEMPT CERTAIN HOUSING FROM PROPERTY TAXATION (Hackett R., Antonio N.) Introduced on February 9, 2021, this bill modifies the law regarding property tax exemptions and procedures and to authorize COVID-19-related property tax valuation complaints.

Of particular note to economic developers, the bill includes language regarding TIF annual service payments in lieu of taxes (i.e., PILOTs), namely: a change to R.C. 5709.91 to render minimum service payments by developers as covenants running with the land (and therefore enforceable against subsequent owners), to be recorded with the county recorder, in those TIF projects in which developers agree to make minimum PILOTs under the terms of their development agreements.

The Senate unanimously passed the measure on February 24, 2021.  And on March 25, following changes to the bill in the House the House likewise unanimously passed the bill and sent it back to the Senate.  On April 21, the Senate unanimously concurred with the House’s changes to the measure, and Governor DeWine signed the measure into law on April 27, 2021 (to be effective 90 days hence).

SB 61 PLANNED COMMUNITIES (Blessing, L., Antonio, N.) Introduced on February 17, 2021, this bill concerns condominiums and planned community properties and seeks to make changes to the New Community Law (R.C. Chapter 349).

This measure had its fourth hearing on October 19 in the Senate Local Government & Elections Committee, during which two amendments were accepted: (i) removing proposed changes to the New Community Authority law (R.C. Chapter 349) (already enacted in the state operating budget (HB 110)); and (ii) enabling condo boards and HOAs to more easily delete – as void under the law – restrictive covenants based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or familial status.

SB 83 BROWNFIELD SITES (Williams, S., Rulli, M.) Introduced on February 23, 2021, this bill seeks to require OEPA to conduct a study to determine where brownfield sites are located in Ohio and to make an appropriation.  Specifically, the measure appropriates $150,000 from State GRF for an OEPA study of brownfield sites, with support from universities, to fill in the gaps in the current inventory program (which relies on voluntary reporting).  The bill’s deadline for OEPA would be January 1, 2023.

The sponsors estimated there are approximately 9,000 such brownfield sites in existence in Ohio, but there is no single complete listing.

On May 19, 2021, the bill was passed unanimously by the Senate.

The bill had its fifth hearing in the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee on December 7, 2021, during which the Committee reported out a revised version of the bill.  The bill was changed in direct response to Ohio EPA’s testimony to the Committee regarding a lawsuit in the early 2000s, when the agency was sued regarding its “master sites list” at the time.  The suit arose from complaints as to the list’s effect on property values, and a court found OEPA did not have the authority to keep such a list (thereby explaining the current voluntary nature of the state’s brownfields listing). 

As such, the Committee’s reported-out version of the bill appropriates $150,000 to fund Phase I environmental assessments, which run between $5,000 – $8,000/site, which, upon completion, such assessments would provide brownfield sites’ entry into Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program.  This level of funding is estimated to provide up to 28 such site assessments.

SB 84 CLEAN OHIO FUND (Williams, S., Rulli, M.) Introduced on February 23, 2021, this bill seeks to make changes to the law relating to the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund.  Note the companion HB 143 in the lower chamber.

This measure had its first hearing on March 16 in the Senate Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee, during which joint sponsor testimony from Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) and Sen. Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland).  Outlining their bill, the sponsors noted this measure would re-fund the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund for cleanup of the sites identified under SB 83 (above), by directing excess liquor profits received from JobsOhio and pledging tem for Clean Ohio bonds.  Sponsors noted during the period 2002 through 2013, CORF provided $400MM in grant assistance for brownfield site redevelopment.

Note the General Assembly addressed this matter via the Brownfield Remediation Program ($350MM) inserted into the state’s biennial budget, HB 110 (described above), signed into law on June 30, 2021.

SB 97 MUNICIPAL TAXES (Roegner, K.) Introduced on February 25, 2021, this bill seeks to modify municipal income tax employer withholding rules for COVID-19-related work-from-home employees.  Note the similar bill in the lower chamber (HB 157).  This bill had its first hearing in the Senate Ways & Means Committee on May 12.

SB 98 TAX EXEMPTION (Antani, N.) Introduced on February 24, 2021, this measure seeks to exempt from sales and use tax things used primarily to move completed manufactured products or general merchandise, such as forklifts.  The bill had its first hearing in the Senate Ways & Means Committee on September 21, with sponsor testimony heard from Sen. Antani (R – Miamisburg).

SB 108 BUSINESS GRANTS (Huffman, S., Romanchuk, M.) Introduced on March 2, 2021, this bill would provide $100MM in grants to bars and restaurants and $25MM to the lodging industry and make such appropriations. Note the companion HB 169 in the lower chamber.

On March 17, the Senate unanimously passed this spending proposal; the House Economic & Workforce Committee referred the bill in late April to the House Finance Committee, the latter of which reported out the measure on May 5.  Later that same day, the House passed the bill on a 93-1 vote (the Senate concurred unanimously), and the bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 17, 2021.

SB 109 GRANT PROGRAM (Manning, N., Rulli, M.) Introduced on March 2, 2021, this bill would provide $300MM in grants to small businesses, child care providers, and indoor entertainment venues and make such appropriations. Note the companion HB 168 in the lower chamber, which was signed into law as a completely rewritten measure. On March 16, at its second hearing, this bill was reported out of the Senate Finance Committee and on March 17, the Senate unanimously passed this spending proposal; the House Economic & Workforce Committee referred the bill in late April to the House Finance Committee.  In turn, the House Finance Committee changed the bill: for entertainment venue ($20MM/SFY 2021) and new business ($10MM/SFY 2021) grant programs administered by ODOD, the source of funding replaced the General Revenue Fund with federal the State’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.

The bill includes $150MM to the ODOD to provide grants to eligible small businesses which did not receive COVID-19 relief funding in 2020.

The Committee reported out the measure on May 5.  Later that same day, the House passed the bill on a 89-2 vote (the Senate concurred unanimously), and the bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 17, 2021.

SB 111 LOCAL FISCAL RECOVERY (Blessing, L., Brenner, A.)  Introduced on March 2, 2021, this bill originally sought to provide funding to schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In its original form, the bill passed the Senate by unanimous vote on March 24.  Those provisions were enacted into law via its companion HB 170.

On June 22, the House Finance Committee used this measure as the vehicle to appropriate $422MM of ARPA Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, representing the first slug received in late May by the State from the U.S. Treasury.  The appropriations are to distribute federal stimulus to nonentitlement units of local government (NEUs), or those non-metro cities with less than 50,000 population which did not receive Local Fiscal Recovery Funds directly from the U.S. Treasury (compare: counties and metro cities).

Importantly, the Committee included townships as NEUs in its appropriations of Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

The Local Fiscal Recovery Funds will be distributed via Ohio OBM to non-metro cities, incorporated villages and townships based on population.

(In late May, the U.S Treasury instructed those states with “minor civil divisions,” or townships in Ohio’s instance, to undertake a facts-and-circumstances test to determine whether such entities have the legal and operational capacity to stand as NEUs in accepting Local Fiscal Recovery Fund allocations and provide a broad enough range of services that would constitute eligible uses of such funds.   Bricker had expected the DeWine Administration, through the Ohio OBM, to make such a factual determination; with this measure, the Ohio General Assembly legislatively determined that townships are eligible to receive ARPA stimulus funding.)

The Committee accepted the re-written measure, with the House passing the bill on June 24 by a 60-34 vote (with a last-minute floor amendment to prohibit public and private entities from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations).  Note the provisions of this rewritten measure were inserted into HB 168, which has been signed into law.

SB 112 TAX FORECLOSURES (Dolan, M.) Introduced on March 2, 2021, this bill seeks to make changes to the law relating to tax foreclosures and county land reutilization corporations. This measure is a re-introduction of the county land bank law changes proposed in August 2020 under companion bills in the previous Ohio General Assembly (HB 755 and SB 356).

Note the companion HB 241 in the lower chamber.

As was the case with the previously introduced bills, SB 112 seeks to make large-scale changes to county land banking law (R.C. Chapter 5722) and the law relating to tax foreclosures (R.C. Chapter 323). This measure was written in coordination with the Cuyahoga County Land Bank and other land bank leaders in Ohio.

During sponsor testimony on March 16 in the Senate Local Government & Elections Committee, Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) described his bill as a modernization of land banking in Ohio.  Land banking statutes in Ohio were last updated in 2015 by removing population requirements first put in place in 2009, thus making all counties eligible to form county land banks.  At present, 59 counties have established land banks across Ohio.

The measure had its third hearing on October 19, during which an amendment was accepted, making the following changes to the bill: (i) requires a county land bank’s annual report to include DTAC collection information and the county land bank’s financial position; (ii) clarifies “nonproductive land” must only be offered for sale once; (iii) changes the timeframe for appeals under the expedited tax foreclosure process from 14 to 30 days; (iv) reinstates existing law provision requiring property transfer fees to be paid to the county recorder for the transfer and recording of a deed; and (v) clarifies both “nonproductive” and “abandoned lands” that are foreclosed will forfeit to the state if not sold upon first sale.

SB 144 CONSUMER PROTECTIONS (Rulli, M., Williams, S.)  Introduced on March 23, this bill would enact the Consumer Protection Call Center Act which would requrie notices by employers relocating a call center to a foreign country and would disqualify those same employers, upon their reolcation, from receiving state grants, loans, tax credits and other incentives for five years.  The Senate Finance Committee held its first hearing on the measure on Sept. 14, during which its sponsor, Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem), stated it is aimed at discouraging firms from relocating call center jobs overseas.

SB 152 TASK FORCE ESTABLISHMENT (Hoagland, F.)  Introduced on April 6, 2021, this bill would establish the Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Task Force in the office of the Attorney General.  This 10-person office would investigate instances of fraud by entities applying for public funds, including grants.

The bill had its first hearing in the Senate Finance Committee on November 9, during which sponsor Sen. Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction) stated his intention that the task force investigate cases of fraud or abuse of public funds obtained from Ohio by private individuals or entities (e.g., economic development programs).  The Senator noted, “Any person would be able to file a complaint with the Task Force alleging any of the potential offenses.”  The Senator further acknowledged other entities currently provide such oversight, including the Ohio Ethics Commission Track, Joint Legislative Ethics Committee Track and Inspector General.

SB 166 VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS-COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT AREAS (Reineke, W.)  Introduced on April 21, 2021, this bill generally regards career-technical education.  The bill would require that school compensation agreements reached under commercial or industrial CRA abatements be provided on the same terms and conditions to joint vocational school districts.  Note the companion bill in the lower chamber (HB 303).

This measure unanimously passed the Senate on June 16, 2021.  The bill had three hearings in the House Economic & Workforce Development Committee (October – November), and was passed by the House, on an emergency basis and according to an 88-1 vote, on December 9.  In turn, the Senate concurred on December 15 with the House’s amendments.

SB 172 MUNICIPAL CORPORATION (Schaffer, T.)  Introduced on May 5, 2021, this bill would require municipal corporations with more than $100 million in annual income tax collections to provide a tax credit to nonresident taxpayers.

SB 192 PROPERTY TAX (Williams, S.)  Introduced on June 1, 2021, this bill would seek to protect legacy homeowners from spikes in their property taxes as surrounding properties redevelop.  Specifically, the bill would reduce property taxes on owner-occupied homes to the extent the taxes increase by more than 10% per year.

The bill had its first hearing in the Senate Ways & Means Committee on December 14 for sponsor testimony.  Sen. Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) stated the measure is targeted at long-term homeowners, or those who has lived in their homes for at least 10 years.  The bill would address property tax loads increasing “between 100- 300%” in some neighborhoods experiencing redevelopment.  The Senator added that she has not seen any initiatives from cities or counties to address the issue.

SB 212 FORECLOSURES (Hackett, B.)  Introduced on July 27, 2021, this bill seeks to make procedural changes to real property foreclosures under R.C. Chapter 2329 (i.e., judicial sales, sheriffs’ sales, etc.).  This bill had its first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 14, during which sponsor testimony was provided by Sen. Bob Hackett (R-London).

SB 225 TAX CREDITS (Schuring, K.)  Introduced on September 8, 2021, this bill would temporarily modify the historic rehabilitation and the opportunity zone investment tax credits.  Sponsor Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) has stated developers advised him the state could do more to improve the HPTC’s use and that the Opportunity Zone Tax Credit has been underutilized because of delays in regulations at the federal level.

Changes would apply for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022 and SFY 2023 as follows:

  • Historic Preservation Tax Credit (HPTC) program:
    • Increase the HPTC aggregate cap from $60MM/year to $120MM/year;
    • Increase each project cap from $5MM to $10MM;
    • Increase tax credit thresholds for municipalities < 71,000 population from 25% to 35%.
    • Projects having been approved during SFY 2021 can convert their credit to capture these enhancements, so long as the project did not yet commence
  • Ohio Opportunity Zone Tax Credit program:
    • Increase the amount of funds available from $50MM to $100MM.

In hearings before the Senate Finance Committee (four such hearings through December 7), the sponsor suggested several amendments to the bill to be proposed at an upcoming Committee hearing:

  • Allow developers who were approved by the Department of Development for historic rehabilitation tax credits in Fiscal Year 2021 to reapply for enhanced credits if their projects have not yet gone to construction;
  • Align the state preservation tax credit guidelines with those for the federal preservation tax credit;
  • Require the ODOD when reviewing a proposed project involving a historic theater to consider how the effort would affect gross receipts and economic conditions in the vicinity;
  • Establish an additional time period for Opportunity Zone Tax Credit applications, and allow holders of OZ credits to transfer those credits; and, unrelatedly,
  • Revise a HB 110 (state operating budget) provision allowing political subdivisions to use TIF or DRD PILOTs for off-street parking projects (Sen. Schuring: “Other projects should qualify.”)

SB 260  POLITICAL SUBDIVISION (Lang, G.)  Introduced on November 9, 2021, this bill seeks to expand political subdivision joint purchasing authority to expressly include purchases for construction services.

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