122.17 [Effective 9/29/2015] Grants to foster job creation.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) " Payroll" means the total taxable income paid by the employer during the employer's taxable year, or during the calendar year that includes the employer's tax period, to each employee or each home-based employee employed in the project to the extent such payroll is not used to determine the credit under section 122.171 of the Revised Code. " Payroll" excludes amounts paid before the day the taxpayer becomes eligible for the credit and retirement or other benefits paid or contributed by the employer to or on behalf of employees.

(2) "Baseline payroll" means Ohio employee payroll, except that the applicable measurement period is the twelve months immediately preceding the date the tax credit authority approves the taxpayer's application or the date the tax credit authority receives the recommendation described in division (C)(2)(a) of this section, whichever occurs first, multiplied by the sum of one plus an annual pay increase factor to be determined by the tax credit authority.

(3) "Ohio employee payroll" means the amount of compensation used to determine the withholding obligations in division (A) of section 5747.06 of the Revised Code and paid by the employer during the employer's taxable year, or during the calendar year that includes the employer's tax period, to each employee employed in the project who is a resident of this state, as defined in section 5747.01 of the Revised Code, to each employee employed at the project site who is not a resident and whose compensation is not exempt from the tax imposed under section 5747.02 of the Revised Code pursuant to a reciprocity agreement with another state under division (A)(3) of section 5747.05 of the Revised Code, or to each home-based employee employed in the project, to the extent such compensation is not used to determine the credit under section 122.171 of the Revised Code. "Ohio employee payroll" excludes amounts paid before the day the taxpayer becomes eligible for the credit.

(4) "Excess payroll" means Ohio employee payroll minus baseline payroll.

(5) "Home-based employee" means an employee whose services are performed primarily from the employee's residence in this state exclusively for the benefit of the project and whose rate of pay is at least one hundred thirty-one per cent of the federal minimum wage under 29 U.S.C. 206.

(6) "Full-time equivalent employees" means the quotient obtained by dividing the total number of hours for which employees were compensated for employment in the project by two thousand eighty. "Full-time equivalent employees" excludes hours that are counted for a credit under section 122.171 of the Revised Code.

(7) "Metric evaluation date" means the date by which the taxpayer must meet all of the commitments included in the agreement.

(B) The tax credit authority may make grants under this section to foster job creation in this state. Such a grant shall take the form of a refundable credit allowed against the tax imposed by section 5725.18, 5726.02, 5729.03, 5733.06, 5736.02, or 5747.02 or levied under Chapter 5751. of the Revised Code. The credit shall be claimed for the taxable years or tax periods specified in the taxpayer's agreement with the tax credit authority under division (D) of this section. With respect to taxes imposed under section 5726.02, 5733.06, or 5747.02 or Chapter 5751. of the Revised Code, the credit shall be claimed in the order required under section 5726.98, 5733.98, 5747.98, or 5751.98 of the Revised Code. The amount of the credit available for a taxable year or for a calendar year that includes a tax period equals the excess payroll for that year multiplied by the percentage specified in the agreement with the tax credit authority.

(C)

(1) A taxpayer or potential taxpayer who proposes a project to create new jobs in this state may apply to the tax credit authority to enter into an agreement for a tax credit under this section.

An application shall not propose to include both home-based employees and employees who are not home-based employees in the computation of Ohio employee payroll for the purposes of the same tax credit agreement. If a taxpayer or potential taxpayer employs both home-based employees and employees who are not home-based employees in a project, the taxpayer shall submit separate applications for separate tax credit agreements for the project, one of which shall include home-based employees in the computation of Ohio employee payroll and one of which shall include all other employees in the computation of Ohio employee payroll.

The director of development services shall prescribe the form of the application. After receipt of an application, the authority may enter into an agreement with the taxpayer for a credit under this section if it determines all of the following:

(a) The taxpayer's project will increase payroll ;

(b) The taxpayer's project is economically sound and will benefit the people of this state by increasing opportunities for employment and strengthening the economy of this state;

(c) Receiving the tax credit is a major factor in the taxpayer's decision to go forward with the project.

(2)

(a) A taxpayer that chooses to begin the project prior to receiving the determination of the authority may, upon submitting the taxpayer's application to the authority, request that the chief investment officer of the nonprofit corporation formed under section 187.01 of the Revised Code and the director review the taxpayer's application and recommend to the authority that the taxpayer's application be considered. As soon as possible after receiving such a request, the chief investment officer and the director shall review the taxpayer's application and, if they determine that the application warrants consideration by the authority, make that recommendation to the authority not later than six months after the application is received by the authority.

(b) The authority shall consider any taxpayer's application for which it receives a recommendation under division (C)(2)(a) of this section. If the authority determines that the taxpayer does not meet all of the criteria set forth in division (C)(1) of this section, the authority and the development services agency shall proceed in accordance with rules adopted by the director pursuant to division (I) of this section.

(D) An agreement under this section shall include all of the following:

(1) A detailed description of the project that is the subject of the agreement;

(2)

(a) The term of the tax credit, which, except as provided in division (D)(2)(b) of this section, shall not exceed fifteen years, and the first taxable year, or first calendar year that includes a tax period, for which the credit may be claimed;

(b) If the tax credit is computed on the basis of home-based employees, the term of the credit shall expire on or before the last day of the taxable or calendar year ending before the beginning of the seventh year after September 6, 2012, the effective date of H.B. 327 of the 129th general assembly.

(3) A requirement that the taxpayer shall maintain operations at the project location for at least the greater of seven years or the term of the credit plus three years;

(4) The percentage, as determined by the tax credit authority, of excess payroll that will be allowed as the amount of the credit for each taxable year or for each calendar year that includes a tax period;

(5) The pay increase factor to be applied to the taxpayer's baseline payroll;

(6) A requirement that the taxpayer annually shall report to the director of development services full-time equivalent employees, payroll, Ohio employee payroll, investment, the provision of health care benefits and tuition reimbursement if required in the agreement, and other information the director needs to perform the director's duties under this section;

(7) A requirement that the director of development services annually review the information reported under division (D)(6) of this section and verify compliance with the agreement; if the taxpayer is in compliance, a requirement that the director issue a certificate to the taxpayer stating that the information has been verified and identifying the amount of the credit that may be claimed for the taxable or calendar year;

(8) A provision providing that the taxpayer may not relocate a substantial number of employment positions from elsewhere in this state to the project location unless the director of development services determines that the legislative authority of the county, township, or municipal corporation from which the employment positions would be relocated has been notified by the taxpayer of the relocation.

For purposes of this section, the movement of an employment position from one political subdivision to another political subdivision shall be considered a relocation of an employment position unless the employment position in the first political subdivision is replaced.

(9) If the tax credit is computed on the basis of home-based employees, that the tax credit may not be claimed by the taxpayer until the taxable year or tax period in which the taxpayer employs at least two hundred employees more than the number of employees the taxpayer employed on June 30, 2011.

(E) If a taxpayer fails to meet or comply with any condition or requirement set forth in a tax credit agreement, the tax credit authority may amend the agreement to reduce the percentage or term of the tax credit. The reduction of the percentage or term may take effect in the current taxable or calendar year.

(F) Projects that consist solely of point-of-final-purchase retail facilities are not eligible for a tax credit under this section. If a project consists of both point-of-final-purchase retail facilities and nonretail facilities, only the portion of the project consisting of the nonretail facilities is eligible for a tax credit and only the excess payroll from the nonretail facilities shall be considered when computing the amount of the tax credit. If a warehouse facility is part of a point-of-final-purchase retail facility and supplies only that facility, the warehouse facility is not eligible for a tax credit. Catalog distribution centers are not considered point-of-final-purchase retail facilities for the purposes of this division, and are eligible for tax credits under this section.

(G) Financial statements and other information submitted to the development services agency or the tax credit authority by an applicant or recipient of a tax credit under this section, and any information taken for any purpose from such statements or information, are not public records subject to section 149.43 of the Revised Code. However, the chairperson of the authority may make use of the statements and other information for purposes of issuing public reports or in connection with court proceedings concerning tax credit agreements under this section. Upon the request of the tax commissioner or, if the applicant or recipient is an insurance company, upon the request of the superintendent of insurance, the chairperson of the authority shall provide to the commissioner or superintendent any statement or information submitted by an applicant or recipient of a tax credit in connection with the credit. The commissioner or superintendent shall preserve the confidentiality of the statement or information.

(H) A taxpayer claiming a credit under this section shall submit to the tax commissioner or, if the taxpayer is an insurance company, to the superintendent of insurance, a copy of the director of development services' certificate of verification under division (D)(7) of this section with the taxpayer's tax report or return for the taxable year or for the calendar year that includes the tax period. Failure to submit a copy of the certificate with the report or return does not invalidate a claim for a credit if the taxpayer submits a copy of the certificate to the commissioner or superintendent within thirty days after the commissioner or superintendent requests it.

(I) The director of development services, after consultation with the tax commissioner and the superintendent of insurance and in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section, including rules that establish a procedure to be followed by the tax credit authority and the development services agency in the event the authority considers a taxpayer's application for which it receives a recommendation under division (C)(2)(a) of this section but does not approve it. The rules may provide for recipients of tax credits under this section to be charged fees to cover administrative costs of the tax credit program. The fees collected shall be credited to the business assistance fund created in section 122.174 of the Revised Code. At the time the director gives public notice under division (A) of section 119.03 of the Revised Code of the adoption of the rules, the director shall submit copies of the proposed rules to the chairpersons of the standing committees on economic development in the senate and the house of representatives.

(J) For the purposes of this section, a taxpayer may include a partnership, a corporation that has made an election under subchapter S of chapter one of subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code, or any other business entity through which income flows as a distributive share to its owners. A partnership, S-corporation, or other such business entity may elect to pass the credit received under this section through to the persons to whom the income or profit of the partnership, S-corporation, or other entity is distributed. The election shall be made on the annual report required under division (D)(6) of this section. The election applies to and is irrevocable for the credit for which the report is submitted. If the election is made, the credit shall be apportioned among those persons in the same proportions as those in which the income or profit is distributed.

(K)

(1) If the director of development services determines that a taxpayer who has received a credit under this section is not complying with the requirements of the agreement, the director shall notify the tax credit authority of the noncompliance. After receiving such a notice, and after giving the taxpayer an opportunity to explain the noncompliance, the tax credit authority may require the taxpayer to refund to this state a portion of the credit in accordance with the following:

(a) If the taxpayer fails to comply with the requirement under division (D)(3) of this section, an amount determined in accordance with the following:

(i) If the taxpayer maintained operations at the project location for a period less than or equal to the term of the credit, an amount not exceeding one hundred per cent of the sum of any credits allowed and received under this section;

(ii) If the taxpayer maintained operations at the project location for a period longer than the term of the credit, but less than the greater of seven years or the term of the credit plus three years, an amount not exceeding seventy-five per cent of the sum of any credits allowed and received under this section.

(b) If, on the metric evaluation date, the taxpayer fails to substantially meet the job creation, payroll, or investment requirements included in the agreement, an amount determined at the discretion of the authority;

(c) If the taxpayer fails to substantially maintain the number of new full-time equivalent employees or amount of payroll required under the agreement at any time during the term of the agreement after the metric evaluation date, an amount determined at the discretion of the authority.

(2) If a taxpayer files for bankruptcy and fails as described in division (K)(1)(a), (b), or (c) of this section, the director may immediately commence an action to recoup an amount not exceeding one hundred per cent of the sum of any credits received by the taxpayer under this section.

(3) In determining the portion of the tax credit to be refunded to this state, the tax credit authority shall consider the effect of market conditions on the taxpayer's project and whether the taxpayer continues to maintain other operations in this state. After making the determination, the authority shall certify the amount to be refunded to the tax commissioner or superintendent of insurance, as appropriate. If the amount is certified to the commissioner, the commissioner shall make an assessment for that amount against the taxpayer under Chapter 5726., 5733., 5736., 5747., or 5751. of the Revised Code. If the amount is certified to the superintendent, the superintendent shall make an assessment for that amount against the taxpayer under Chapter 5725. or 5729. of the Revised Code. The time limitations on assessments under those chapters do not apply to an assessment under this division, but the commissioner or superintendent, as appropriate, shall make the assessment within one year after the date the authority certifies to the commissioner or superintendent the amount to be refunded.

(L) On or before the first day of August each year, the director of development services shall submit a report to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives on the tax credit program under this section. The report shall include information on the number of agreements that were entered into under this section during the preceding calendar year, a description of the project that is the subject of each such agreement, and an update on the status of projects under agreements entered into before the preceding calendar year.

(M) There is hereby created the tax credit authority, which consists of the director of development services and four other members appointed as follows: the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives each shall appoint one member who shall be a specialist in economic development; the governor also shall appoint a member who is a specialist in taxation. Terms of office shall be for four years. Each member shall serve on the authority until the end of the term for which the member was appointed. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner provided for original appointments. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of that term. Members may be reappointed to the authority. Members of the authority shall receive their necessary and actual expenses while engaged in the business of the authority. The director of development services shall serve as chairperson of the authority, and the members annually shall elect a vice-chairperson from among themselves. Three members of the authority constitute a quorum to transact and vote on the business of the authority. The majority vote of the membership of the authority is necessary to approve any such business, including the election of the vice-chairperson.

The director of development services may appoint a professional employee of the development services agency to serve as the director's substitute at a meeting of the authority. The director shall make the appointment in writing. In the absence of the director from a meeting of the authority, the appointed substitute shall serve as chairperson. In the absence of both the director and the director's substitute from a meeting, the vice-chairperson shall serve as chairperson.

(N) For purposes of the credits granted by this section against the taxes imposed under sections 5725.18 and 5729.03 of the Revised Code, "taxable year" means the period covered by the taxpayer's annual statement to the superintendent of insurance.

(O) On or before the first day of March of each of the five calendar years beginning with 2014, each taxpayer subject to an agreement with the tax credit authority under this section on the basis of home-based employees shall report the number of home-based employees and other employees employed by the taxpayer in this state to the development services agency.

(P) On or before the first day of January of 2019, the director of development services shall submit a report to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives on the effect of agreements entered into under this section in which the taxpayer included home-based employees in the computation of income tax revenue, as that term was defined in this section prior to the amendment of this section by H.B. 64 of the 131st general assembly. The report shall include information on the number of such agreements that were entered into in the preceding six years, a description of the projects that were the subjects of such agreements, and an analysis of nationwide home-based employment trends, including the number of home-based jobs created from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2017, and a description of any home-based employment tax incentives provided by other states during that time.

(Q) The director of development services may require any agreement entered into under this section for a tax credit computed on the basis of home-based employees to contain a provision that the taxpayer makes available health care benefits and tuition reimbursement to all employees.

(R) Original agreements approved by the tax credit authority under this section in 2014 or 2015 before the effective date of this division may be revised at the request of the taxpayer to conform with the amendments to this section and sections 5733.0610, 5736.50, 5747.058, and 5751.50 of the Revised Code by H.B. 64 of the 131st general assembly, upon mutual agreement of the taxpayer and the development services agency, and approval by the tax credit authority.

(S)

(1) As used in division (S) of this section:

(a) "Eligible agreement" means an agreement approved by the tax credit authority under this section on or before December 31, 2013.

(b) "Reporting period" means a period corresponding to the annual report required under division (D)(6) of this section.

(c) "Income tax revenue" has the same meaning as under this section as it existed before the effective date of the amendment of this section by H.B. 64 of the 131st general assembly.

(2) In calendar year 2016 and thereafter, the tax credit authority shall annually determine a withholding adjustment factor to be used in the computation of income tax revenue for eligible agreements. The withholding adjustment factor shall be a numerical percentage that equals the percentage that employer income tax withholding rates have been increased or decreased as a result of changes in the income tax rates prescribed by section 5747.02 of the Revised Code by amendment of that section taking effect on or after June 29, 2013.

(3) Except as provided in division (S)(4) of this section, for reporting periods ending in 2015 and thereafter for taxpayers subject to eligible agreements, the tax credit authority shall adjust the income tax revenue reported on the taxpayer's annual report by multiplying the withholding adjustment factor by the taxpayer's income tax revenue and doing one of the following:

(a) If the income tax rates prescribed by section 5747.02 of the Revised Code have decreased by amendment of that section taking effect on or after June 29, 2013, add the product to the taxpayer's income tax revenue.

(b) If the income tax rates prescribed by section 5747.02 of the Revised Code have increased by amendment of that section taking effect on or after June 29, 2013, subtract the product from the taxpayer's income tax revenue.

(4) Division (S)(3) of this section shall not apply unless all of the following apply for the reporting period with respect to the eligible agreement:

(a) The taxpayer has achieved one hundred per cent of the new employment commitment identified in the agreement.

(b) If applicable, the taxpayer has achieved one hundred per cent of the new payroll commitment identified in the agreement.

(c) If applicable, the taxpayer has achieved one hundred per cent of the investment commitment identified in the agreement.

(5) Failure by a taxpayer to have achieved any of the applicable commitments described in divisions (S)(4)(a) to (c) of this section in a reporting period does not disqualify the taxpayer for the adjustment under division (S) of this section for an ensuing reporting period.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 64, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2015.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 492, §1, eff. 9/17/2014.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.186, HB 510, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.129, SB 314, §1, eff. 9/28/2012.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.121, HB 327, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

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

Effective Date: 02-12-2004; 06-30-2005; 03-30-2006; 2006 HB699 03-29-2007; 2007 HB119 06-30-2007

Related Legislative Provision: See 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 492, §4.

See 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §4

Note: This section is set out twice. See also § 122.17 , effective until 9/29/2015.