Spring Legislative Update/Economic Development

The One Hundred and Thirty Second General Assembly of the Ohio Legislature has seen a number of bills introduced that innovate state and local governments’ engagement in economic development activity. In particular, three bills have been introduced that, if eventually passed, would have fairly significant impact on the Ohio economic development landscape. Those are House Bill 469, House Bill 668, and House Bill 525.

House Bill 469, introduced by Representatives Schuring and Patton, seeks to create a new tax credit to incentivize the construction of so-called transformational mixed-use developments. These developments must meet a number of criteria, chief of which are the budget ($50+m) and size (15 stories or 350,000 sf). The bill authorizes a nonrefundable insurance company tax credit (see tax imposed under Ohio Revised Code 5725.18) for contributions of capital to eligible projects. This should get the big insurers in Ohio more involved in development finance, where their traditional focus has been permanent multi-family loans.    

House Bill 668 would add Ohio to a growing number of jurisdictions, including recently Kentucky, expanding the use of public-private partnerships to lower the cost associated with the construction operation, and maintenance of public facilities. While public-private partnerships have been legal in Ohio for transportation projects since 2011 (see Ohio Revised Code 5501.70 et seq.), its use was limited in scope. The definition of public facility in the bill as drafted is, on the other hand, quite broad, including any piece of infrastructure, such as bridges and roads, or structure that is used by a public body or the public at large. Public-private partnerships have seen a resurgence in recent years as a tool to facilitate the synergies between private efficiency and governmental capital. Additionally, tax benefits associated with public facilities will not be negatively affected by the use of a public-private partnership. It is important to note that the bill as drafted does not amend the applicability of prevailing wage to a potential public-private partnership project.  

House Bill 525 is designed to expand the popular and successful motion picture tax credit. The motion picture tax credit has been partly responsible for an increase in cinema production in the state, including films such as Carol, Miles Ahead, and Marauders. The proposed change to the credit would allow live stage productions and post-production work to become eligible. The clear intention is to extend the growth of the entertainment industry in the State to become more competitive not only with other aspects of film production, but also Broadway style theatrical performances. Locally, the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission assists in connecting potential productions with available state grants.

It remains to be seen in what form, if at all, these bills make it into law. Nevertheless, it is clear that the 132 General Assembly is taking a somewhat more aggressive and innovative approach to questions of economic development.

If you would like to discuss how these new bills may impact your business, please contact a member of the KMK Real Estate Group.

KMK Law articles and blog posts are intended to bring attention to developments in the law and are not intended as legal advice for any particular client or any particular situation. The laws/regulations and interpretations thereof are evolving and subject to change. Although we will attempt to update articles/blog posts for material changes, the article/post may not reflect changes in laws/regulations or guidance issued after the date the article/post was published. Please consult with counsel of your choice regarding any specific questions you may have.


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