3735.671 Written agreement where commercial or industrial property is to be exempted.

(A) If construction or remodeling of commercial or industrial property is to be exempted from taxation pursuant to section 3735.67 of the Revised Code, the legislative authority and the owner of the property, prior to the commencement of construction or remodeling, shall enter into a written agreement, binding on both parties for a period of time that does not end prior to the end of the period of the exemption, that includes all of the information and statements prescribed by this section. Agreements may include terms not prescribed by this section, but such terms shall in no way derogate from the information and statements prescribed by this section.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (A)(2) or (3) of this section, an agreement entered into under this section shall not be approved by the legislative authority unless the board of education of the city, local, or exempted village school district within the territory of which the property is or will be located approves the agreement. For the purpose of obtaining such approval, the legislative authority shall certify a copy of the agreement to the board of education not later than forty-five days prior to approving the agreement, excluding Saturday, Sunday, and a legal holiday as defined in section 1.14 of the Revised Code. The board of education, by resolution adopted by a majority of the board, shall approve or disapprove the agreement and certify a copy of the resolution to the legislative authority not later than fourteen days prior to the date stipulated by the legislative authority as the date upon which approval of the agreement is to be formally considered by the legislative authority. The board of education may include in the resolution conditions under which the board would approve the agreement. The legislative authority may approve an agreement at any time after the board of education certifies its resolution approving the agreement to the legislative authority, or, if the board approves the agreement conditionally, at any time after the conditions are agreed to by the board and the legislative authority.

(2) Approval of an agreement by the board of education is not required under division (A)(1) of this section if, for each tax year the real property is exempted from taxation, the sum of the following quantities, as estimated at or prior to the time the agreement is formally approved by the legislative authority, equals or exceeds fifty per cent of the amount of taxes, as estimated at or prior to that time, that would have been charged and payable that year upon the real property had that property not been exempted from taxation:

(a) The amount of taxes charged and payable on any portion of the assessed valuation of the new structure or remodeling that will not be exempted from taxation under the agreement;

(b) The amount of taxes charged and payable on tangible personal property located on the premises of the new structure or of the structure to be remodeled under the agreement, whether payable by the owner of the structure or by a related member, as defined in section 5733.042 of the Revised Code without regard to division (B) of that section.

(c) The amount of any cash payment by the owner of the new structure or structure to be remodeled to the school district, the dollar value, as mutually agreed to by the owner and the board of education, of any property or services provided by the owner of the property to the school district, whether by gift, loan, or otherwise, and any payment by the legislative authority to the school district pursuant to section 5709.82 of the Revised Code.

The estimates of quantities used for purposes of division (A)(2) of this section shall be estimated by the legislative authority. The legislative authority shall certify to the board of education that the estimates have been made in good faith. Departures of the actual quantities from the estimates subsequent to approval of the agreement by the board of education do not invalidate the agreement.

(3) If a board of education has adopted a resolution waiving its right to approve agreements and the resolution remains in effect, approval of an agreement by the board is not required under this division. If a board of education has adopted a resolution allowing a legislative authority to deliver the notice required under this division fewer than forty-five business days prior to the legislative authority's execution of the agreement, the legislative authority shall deliver the notice to the board not later than the number of days prior to such execution as prescribed by the board in its resolution. If a board of education adopts a resolution waiving its right to approve agreements or shortening the notification period, the board shall certify a copy of the resolution to the legislative authority. If the board of education rescinds such a resolution, it shall certify notice of the rescission to the legislative authority.

(B) Each agreement shall include the following information:

(1) The names of all parties to the agreement;

(2) A description of the remodeling or construction, whether or not to be exempted from taxation, including existing or new structure size and cost thereof; the value of machinery, equipment, furniture, and fixtures, including an itemization of the value of machinery, equipment, furniture, and fixtures used at another location in this state prior to the agreement and relocated or to be relocated from that location to the property, and the value of machinery, equipment, furniture, and fixtures at the facility prior to the execution of the agreement; the value of inventory at the property, including an itemization of the value of inventory held at another location in this state prior to the agreement and relocated or to be relocated from that location to the property, and the value of inventory held at the property prior to the execution of the agreement;

(3) The scheduled starting and completion dates of remodeling or construction of real property or of investments made in machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, and inventory;

(4) Estimates of the number of employee positions to be created each year of the agreement and of the number of employee positions retained by the owner due to the remodeling or construction, itemized as to the number of full-time, part-time, permanent, and temporary positions;

(5) Estimates of the dollar amount of payroll attributable to the positions set forth in division (B)(4) of this section, similarly itemized;

(6) The number of employee positions, if any, at the property and at any other location in this state at the time the agreement is executed, itemized as to the number of full-time, part-time, permanent, and temporary positions.

(C) Each agreement shall set forth the following information and incorporate the following statements:

(1) A description of real property to be exempted from taxation under the agreement, the percentage of the assessed valuation of the real property exempted from taxation, and the period for which the exemption is granted, accompanied by the statement: "The exemption commences the first year for which the real property would first be taxable were that property not exempted from taxation. No exemption shall commence after .......... (insert date) nor extend beyond .......... (insert date)."

(2) ".......... (insert name of owner) shall pay such real property taxes as are not exempted under this agreement and are charged against such property and shall file all tax reports and returns as required by law. If .......... (insert name of owner) fails to pay such taxes or file such returns and reports, exemptions from taxation granted under this agreement are rescinded beginning with the year for which such taxes are charged or such reports or returns are required to be filed and thereafter."

(3) ".......... (insert name of owner) hereby certifies that at the time this agreement is executed, .......... (insert name of owner) does not owe any delinquent real or tangible personal property taxes to any taxing authority of the State of Ohio, and does not owe delinquent taxes for which .......... (insert name of owner) is liable under Chapter 5733., 5735., 5739., 5741., 5743., 5747., or 5753. of the Ohio Revised Code, or, if such delinquent taxes are owed, .......... (insert name of owner) currently is paying the delinquent taxes pursuant to an undertaking enforceable by the State of Ohio or an agent or instrumentality thereof, has filed a petition in bankruptcy under 11 U.S.C.A. 101 , et seq., or such a petition has been filed against .......... (insert name of owner). For the purposes of this certification, delinquent taxes are taxes that remain unpaid on the latest day prescribed for payment without penalty under the chapter of the Revised Code governing payment of those taxes."

(4) ".......... (insert name of municipal corporation or county) shall perform such acts as are reasonably necessary or appropriate to effect, claim, reserve, and maintain exemptions from taxation granted under this agreement including, without limitation, joining in the execution of all documentation and providing any necessary certificates required in connection with such exemptions."

(5) "If for any reason .......... (insert name of municipal corporation or county) revokes the designation of the area, entitlements granted under this agreement shall continue for the number of years specified under this agreement, unless .......... (insert name of owner) materially fails to fulfill its obligations under this agreement and ................... (insert name of municipal corporation or county) terminates or modifies the exemptions from taxation pursuant to this agreement."

(6) "If .......... (insert name of owner) materially fails to fulfill its obligations under this agreement, or if .......... (insert name of municipal corporation or county) determines that the certification as to delinquent taxes required by this agreement is fraudulent, .......... (insert name of municipal corporation or county) may terminate or modify the exemptions from taxation granted under this agreement."

(7) ".......... (insert name of owner) shall provide to the proper tax incentive review council any information reasonably required by the council to evaluate the applicant's compliance with the agreement, including returns filed pursuant to section 5711.02 of the Ohio Revised Code if requested by the council."

(8) "This agreement is not transferable or assignable without the express, written approval of .......... (insert name of municipal corporation or county)."

(9) "Exemptions from taxation granted under this agreement shall be revoked if it is determined that ........... (insert name of owner), any successor to that person, or any related member (as those terms are defined in division (E) of section 3735.671 of the Ohio Revised Code) has violated the prohibition against entering into this agreement under division (E) of section 3735.671 or section 5709.62 or 5709.63 of the Ohio Revised Code prior to the time prescribed by that division or either of those sections."

(10) ".......... (insert name of owner) and ........... (insert name of municipal corporation or county) acknowledge that this agreement must be approved by formal action of the legislative authority of .......... (insert name of municipal corporation or county) as a condition for the agreement to take effect. This agreement takes effect upon such approval."

The statement described in division (C)(6) of this section may include the following statement, appended at the end of the statement: ", and may require the repayment of the amount of taxes that would have been payable had the property not been exempted from taxation under this agreement." If the agreement includes a statement requiring repayment of exempted taxes, it also may authorize the legislative authority to secure repayment of such taxes by a lien on the exempted property in the amount required to be repaid. Such a lien shall attach, and may be perfected, collected, and enforced, in the same manner as a mortgage lien on real property, and shall otherwise have the same force and effect as a mortgage lien on real property.

(D) Except as otherwise provided in this division, an agreement entered into under this section shall require that the owner pay an annual fee equal to the greater of one per cent of the amount of taxes exempted 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 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 and shall be used by the legislative authority exclusively for the purpose of complying with section 3735.672 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 may waive or reduce the amount of the fee, but such waiver or reduction does not affect the obligations of the legislative authority or the tax incentive review council to comply with section 3735.672 or 5709.85 of the Revised Code.

(E) If any person that is party to an agreement granting an exemption from taxation discontinues operations at the structure to which that exemption applies prior to the expiration of the term of the agreement, that person, any successor to that person, and any related member shall not enter into an agreement under this section or section 5709.62 , 5709.63 , or 5709.632 of the Revised Code, and no legislative authority shall enter into such an agreement with such a person, successor, or related member, prior to the expiration of five years after the discontinuation of operations. As used in this division, "successor" means a person to which the assets or equity of another person has been transferred, which transfer resulted in the full or partial nonrecognition of gain or loss, or resulted in a carryover basis, both as determined by rule adopted by the tax commissioner. "Related member" has the same meaning as defined in section 5733.042 of the Revised Code without regard to division (B) of that section.

The director of development shall review all agreements submitted to the director under division (F) of this section for the purpose of enforcing this division. If the director determines there has been a violation of this division, the director shall notify the legislative authority of such violation, and the legislative authority immediately shall revoke the exemption granted under the agreement.

(F) When an agreement is entered into under this section, the legislative authority authorizing the agreement shall forward a copy of the agreement to the director of development within fifteen days after the agreement is entered into.

Effective Date: 09-26-2003; 03-23-2005