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Ohio Opportunity Zone Designations Within the City of Cincinnati

On December 31, 2017, new Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) Sections 1400Z-1 and 1400Z-2, passed as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, became effective. These two Code sections establish the framework for the new Opportunity Zone (“O-Zone”) incentives. Generally, a gain realized from the sale or exchange of property with an unrelated person can be deferred if invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund (an “O-Fund”) within 180 days of the sale or exchange.

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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.

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SB 235 - New Pre-Development Tax Abatement

Introduction:
On December 8, 2016, the Ohio legislature passed Senate Bill 235 ("SB 235") which, among other things, adds Section 5709.52 to the Ohio Revised Code (“ORC”). Effective March 28, 2017, this section authorizes local governments to approve property tax exemptions for the increase in property value for property that is either “newly developable property” or “redevelopment property.”  These terms essentially mean that as to a parcel of property, no commercial, industrial or agricultural operations are currently taking place on the property and that construction or reconstruction of a commercial or industrial building(s) is planned, but a certificate of occupancy has not yet been issued.

During this pre-development phase, the property tax exemption provided by SB 235 effectively freezes the taxable value in place during the exemption term until a certificate of occupancy is issued or upon the occurrence of other circumstances, as discussed below.

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HB 463 - Changes to Remodeling CRA

On December 8, 2016 the Ohio Senate passed House Bill (“HB”) 463. HB 463 in part amends Ohio Revised Code (“ORC”) Chapter 3735, which governs Community Reinvestment Area tax exemptions (a “CRA”).

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