5709.62 Designation of enterprise zones by municipal corporations.

(A) In any municipal corporation that is defined by the United States office of management and budget as a principal city of a metropolitan statistical area, the legislative authority of the municipal corporation may designate one or more areas within its municipal corporation as proposed enterprise zones. Upon designating an area, the legislative authority shall petition the director of development services for certification of the area as having the characteristics set forth in division (A)(1) of section 5709.61 of the Revised Code as amended by Substitute Senate Bill No. 19 of the 120th general assembly. Except as otherwise provided in division (E) of this section, on and after July 1, 1994, legislative authorities shall not enter into agreements under this section unless the legislative authority has petitioned the director and the director has certified the zone under this section as amended by that act; however, all agreements entered into under this section as it existed prior to July 1, 1994, and the incentives granted under those agreements shall remain in effect for the period agreed to under those agreements. Within sixty days after receiving such a petition, the director shall determine whether the area has the characteristics set forth in division (A)(1) of section 5709.61 of the Revised Code, and shall forward the findings to the legislative authority of the municipal corporation. If the director certifies the area as having those characteristics, and thereby certifies it as a zone, the legislative authority may enter into an agreement with an enterprise under division (C) of this section.

(B) Any enterprise that wishes to enter into an agreement with a municipal corporation under division (C) of this section shall submit a proposal to the legislative authority of the municipal corporation on a form prescribed by the director of development services, together with the application fee established under section 5709.68 of the Revised Code. The form shall require the following information:

(1) An estimate of the number of new employees whom the enterprise intends to hire, or of the number of employees whom the enterprise intends to retain, within the zone at a facility that is a project site, and an estimate of the amount of payroll of the enterprise attributable to these employees;

(2) An estimate of the amount to be invested by the enterprise to establish, expand, renovate, or occupy a facility, including investment in new buildings, additions or improvements to existing buildings, machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, and inventory;

(3) A listing of the enterprise's current investment, if any, in a facility as of the date of the proposal's submission.

The enterprise shall review and update the listings required under this division to reflect material changes, and any agreement entered into under division (C) of this section shall set forth final estimates and listings as of the time the agreement is entered into. The legislative authority 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.

(C) Upon receipt and investigation of a proposal under division (B) of this section, if the legislative authority finds that the enterprise submitting the proposal is qualified by financial responsibility and business experience to create and preserve employment opportunities in the zone and improve the economic climate of the municipal corporation, the legislative authority, on or before October 15, 2015, may do one of the following:

(1) Enter into an agreement with the enterprise under which the enterprise agrees to establish, expand, renovate, or occupy a facility and hire new employees, or preserve employment opportunities for existing employees, in return for one or more of the following incentives:

(a) Exemption for a specified number of years, not to exceed fifteen, of a specified portion, up to seventy-five per cent, of the assessed value of tangible personal property first used in business at the project site as a result of the agreement. If an exemption for inventory is specifically granted in the agreement pursuant to this division, the exemption applies to inventory required to be listed pursuant to sections 5711.15 and 5711.16 of the Revised Code, except that, in the instance of an expansion or other situations in which an enterprise was in business at the facility prior to the establishment of the zone, the inventory that is exempt is that amount or value of inventory in excess of the amount or value of inventory required to be listed in the personal property tax return of the enterprise in the return for the tax year in which the agreement is entered into.

(b) Exemption for a specified number of years, not to exceed fifteen, of a specified portion, up to seventy-five per cent, of the increase in the assessed valuation of real property constituting the project site subsequent to formal approval of the agreement by the legislative authority;

(c) Provision for a specified number of years, not to exceed fifteen, of any optional services or assistance that the municipal corporation is authorized to provide with regard to the project site.

(2) Enter into an agreement under which the enterprise agrees to remediate an environmentally contaminated facility, to spend an amount equal to at least two hundred fifty per cent of the true value in money of the real property of the facility prior to remediation as determined for the purposes of property taxation to establish, expand, renovate, or occupy the remediated facility, and to hire new employees or preserve employment opportunities for existing employees at the remediated facility, in return for one or more of the following incentives:

(a) Exemption for a specified number of years, not to exceed fifteen, of a specified portion, not to exceed fifty per cent, of the assessed valuation of the real property of the facility prior to remediation;

(b) Exemption for a specified number of years, not to exceed fifteen, of a specified portion, not to exceed one hundred per cent, of the increase in the assessed valuation of the real property of the facility during or after remediation;

(c) The incentive under division (C)(1)(a) of this section, except that the percentage of the assessed value of such property exempted from taxation shall not exceed one hundred per cent;

(d) The incentive under division (C)(1)(c) of this section.

(3) Enter into an agreement with an enterprise that plans to purchase and operate a large manufacturing facility that has ceased operation or announced its intention to cease operation, in return for exemption for a specified number of years, not to exceed fifteen, of a specified portion, up to one hundred per cent, of the assessed value of tangible personal property used in business at the project site as a result of the agreement, or of the assessed valuation of real property constituting the project site, or both.

(D)

(1) Notwithstanding divisions (C)(1)(a) and (b) of this section, the portion of the assessed value of tangible personal property or of the increase in the assessed valuation of real property exempted from taxation under those divisions may exceed seventy-five per cent in any year for which that portion is exempted if the average percentage exempted for all years in which the agreement is in effect does not exceed sixty per cent, or if 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 a percentage in excess of seventy-five per cent.

(2) Notwithstanding any provision of the Revised Code to the contrary, the exemptions described in divisions (C)(1)(a), (b), and (c), (C)(2)(a), (b), and (c), and (C)(3) of this section may be for up to fifteen years if 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 a number of years in excess of ten.

(3) For the purpose of obtaining the approval of a city, local, or exempted village school district under division (D)(1) or (2) of this section, the legislative authority shall deliver to the board of education a notice not later than forty-five days prior to approving the agreement, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays as defined in section 1.14 of the Revised Code. The notice shall state the percentage to be exempted, an estimate of the true value of the property to be exempted, and the number of years the property is to be exempted. 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, including the execution of an agreement to compensate the school district under division (B) of section 5709.82 of the Revised Code. The legislative authority may approve the 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.

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 approval of the agreement, the legislative authority shall deliver the notice to the board not later than the number of days prior to such approval 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.

(4) The legislative authority shall comply with section 5709.83 of the Revised Code unless the board of education has adopted a resolution under that section waiving its right to receive such notice.

(E) This division applies to zones certified by the director of development services under this section prior to July 22, 1994.

On or before October 15, 2015, the legislative authority that designated a zone to which this division applies may enter into an agreement with an enterprise if the legislative authority finds that the enterprise satisfies one of the criteria described in divisions (E)(1) to (5) of this section:

(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.

The agreement shall require the enterprise to agree 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 one or more of the incentives described in division (C) of this section.

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

(G) 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 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 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 may waive or reduce the amount of the fee charged against an enterprise, but such a waiver or reduction does not affect the obligations of the legislative authority or the tax incentive review council to comply with section 5709.68 or 5709.85 of the Revised Code.

(H) When an agreement is entered into pursuant to this section, the legislative authority 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.

(I) After an agreement is entered into, the enterprise shall file with each personal property tax return required to be filed, or annual report required to be filed under section 5727.08 of the Revised Code, 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.

(J) Enterprises may agree to give preference to residents of the zone within which the agreement applies relative to residents of this state who do not reside in the zone when hiring new employees under the agreement.

(K) 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.

(L) The tax commissioner's authority in determining the accuracy of any exemption granted by an agreement entered into under this section is limited to divisions (C)(1)(a) and (b), (C)(2)(a), (b), and (c), (C)(3), (D), and (I) of this section and divisions (B)(1) to (10) of section 5709.631 of the Revised Code and, as authorized by law, to enforcing any modification to, or revocation of, that agreement by the legislative authority of a municipal corporation or the director of development services.

Cite as R.C. § 5709.62

History. 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: 03-11-2004; 06-09-2004; 05-06-2005