5709.632 Designation of enterprise zones by central city of metropolitan statistical area.

(A)

(1) The legislative authority of a municipal corporation defined by the United States office of management and budget as a principal city of a metropolitan statistical area may, in the manner set forth in section 5709.62 of the Revised Code, designate one or more areas in the municipal corporation as a proposed enterprise zone.

(2) With the consent of the legislative authority of each affected municipal corporation or of a board of township trustees, a board of county commissioners may, in the manner set forth in section 5709.62 of the Revised Code, designate one or more areas in one or more municipal corporations or in unincorporated areas of the county as proposed urban jobs and enterprise zones, except that a board of county commissioners may designate no more than one area within a township, or within adjacent townships, as a proposed urban jobs and enterprise zone.

(3) The legislative authority or board of county commissioners may petition the director of development services for certification of the area as having the characteristics set forth in division (A)(3) of section 5709.61 of the Revised Code. Within sixty days after receiving such a petition, the director shall determine whether the area has the characteristics set forth in that division and forward the findings to the legislative authority or board of county commissioners. If the director certifies the area as having those characteristics and thereby certifies it as a zone, the legislative authority or board may enter into agreements with enterprises under division (B) of this section. Any enterprise wishing to enter into an agreement with a legislative authority or board of county commissioners under this section and satisfying one of the criteria described in divisions (B)(1) to (5) of this section shall submit a proposal to the legislative authority or board on the form prescribed under division (B) of section 5709.62 of the Revised Code and shall review and update the estimates and listings required by the form in the manner required under that division. The legislative authority or board may, on a separate form and at any time, require any additional information necessary to determine whether an enterprise is in compliance with an agreement and to collect the information required to be reported under section 5709.68 of the Revised Code.

(B) Prior to entering into an agreement with an enterprise, the legislative authority or board of county commissioners shall determine whether the enterprise submitting the proposal is qualified by financial responsibility and business experience to create and preserve employment opportunities in the zone and to improve the economic climate of the municipal corporation or municipal corporations or the unincorporated areas in which the zone is located and to which the proposal applies, and whether the enterprise satisfies one of the following criteria:

(1) The enterprise currently has no operations in this state and, subject to approval of the agreement, intends to establish operations in the zone;

(2) The enterprise currently has operations in this state and, subject to approval of the agreement, intends to establish operations at a new location in the zone that would not result in a reduction in the number of employee positions at any of the enterprise's other locations in this state;

(3) The enterprise, subject to approval of the agreement, intends to relocate operations, currently located in another state, to the zone;

(4) The enterprise, subject to approval of the agreement, intends to expand operations at an existing site in the zone that the enterprise currently operates;

(5) The enterprise, subject to approval of the agreement, intends to relocate operations, currently located in this state, to the zone, and the director of development services has issued a waiver for the enterprise under division (B) of section 5709.633 of the Revised Code.

(C) If the legislative authority or board determines that the enterprise is so qualified and satisfies one of the criteria described in divisions (B)(1) to (5) of this section, the legislative authority or board may, after complying with section 5709.83 of the Revised Code and on or before October 15, 2015, and, in the case of a board of commissioners, with the consent of the legislative authority of each affected municipal corporation or of the board of township trustees, enter into an agreement with the enterprise under which the enterprise agrees to establish, expand, renovate, or occupy a facility in the zone and hire new employees, or preserve employment opportunities for existing employees, in return for the following incentives:

(1) When the facility is located in a municipal corporation, a legislative authority or board of commissioners may enter into an agreement for one or more of the incentives provided in division (C) of section 5709.62 of the Revised Code, subject to division (D) of that section;

(2) When the facility is located in an unincorporated area, a board of commissioners may enter into an agreement for one or more of the incentives provided in divisions (B)(1)(b), (B)(2), and (B)(3) of section 5709.63 of the Revised Code, subject to division (C) of that section.

(D) All agreements entered into under this section shall be in the form prescribed under section 5709.631 of the Revised Code. After an agreement under this section is entered into, if the legislative authority or board of county commissioners revokes its designation of the zone, or if the director of development services revokes the zone's certification, any entitlements granted under the agreement shall continue for the number of years specified in the agreement.

(E) Except as otherwise provided in this division, an agreement entered into under this section shall require that the enterprise pay an annual fee equal to the greater of one per cent of the dollar value of incentives offered under the agreement or five hundred dollars; provided, however, that if the value of the incentives exceeds two hundred fifty thousand dollars, the fee shall not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars. The fee shall be payable to the legislative authority or board of commissioners once per year for each year the agreement is effective on the days and in the form specified in the agreement. Fees paid shall be deposited in a special fund created for such purpose by the legislative authority or board and shall be used by the legislative authority or board exclusively for the purpose of complying with section 5709.68 of the Revised Code and by the tax incentive review council created under section 5709.85 of the Revised Code exclusively for the purposes of performing the duties prescribed under that section. The legislative authority or board may waive or reduce the amount of the fee charged against an enterprise, but such waiver or reduction does not affect the obligations of the legislative authority or board or the tax incentive review council to comply with section 5709.68 or 5709.85 of the Revised Code, respectively.

(F) With the approval of the legislative authority of a municipal corporation or the board of township trustees of a township in which a zone is designated under division (A)(2) of this section, the board of county commissioners may delegate to that legislative authority or board any powers and duties of the board to negotiate and administer agreements with regard to that zone under this section.

(G) When an agreement is entered into pursuant to this section, the legislative authority or board of commissioners authorizing the agreement shall forward a copy of the agreement to the director of development services and to the tax commissioner within fifteen days after the agreement is entered into. If any agreement includes terms not provided for in section 5709.631 of the Revised Code affecting the revenue of a city, local, or exempted village school district or causing revenue to be forgone by the district, including any compensation to be paid to the school district pursuant to section 5709.82 of the Revised Code, those terms also shall be forwarded in writing to the director of development services along with the copy of the agreement forwarded under this division.

(H) After an agreement is entered into, the enterprise shall file with each personal property tax return required to be filed while the agreement is in effect, an informational return, on a form prescribed by the tax commissioner for that purpose, setting forth separately the property, and related costs and values, exempted from taxation under the agreement.

(I) An agreement entered into under this section may include a provision requiring the enterprise to create one or more temporary internship positions for students enrolled in a course of study at a school or other educational institution in the vicinity, and to create a scholarship or provide another form of educational financial assistance for students holding such a position in exchange for the student's commitment to work for the enterprise at the completion of the internship.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 32, SB 112, §1, eff. 10/11/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.47, SB 181, §1, eff. 9/13/2010.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 06-26-2003; 06-09-2004; 05-06-2005