Legislation . . . In the News

By Anthony Core

December 30, 2019

The following is a summary of recent Ohio General Assembly activity relating to economic development matters through November 26, 2019. 

LEGISLATION RECENTLY ENACTED 

            House Bill 62 (Passed February 12, 2019; signed by the Governor April 3, 2019; most provisions effective July 1, 2019.)  This Bill in the biennial transportation budget bill, making appropriations for programs related to transportation and public safety for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019. 

            House Bill 166 (Passed July 17, 2019; signed by the Governor July 18, 2019; appropriation and tax provisions effective July 18, 2019; other provisions generally effective October 17, 2019.)  This Bill is the State’s Operating Budget for fiscal years 2020-2021.  The Bill includes the following provisions: 

  • Creates the TechCred Program to provide reimbursements to eligible employers for training costs for both incumbent and prospective employees to earn a microcredential, which generally is an industry-recognized credential or certificate that may be completed in not more than one year, and creates a regional industry sector partnership grant program.
  • Reinstitutes the Rural Industrial Park Loan Fund.
  • Authorizes the Superintendent of the Division of Industrial Compliance in the Department of Commerce to contract with local health districts and building departments to administer and enforce the building code on their behalf.
  • Authorizes a nonrefundable tax credit equal to 10% of a taxpayer’s investment in an Ohio Opportunity Zone fund.
  • Limits individual credits for Ohio Opportunity Zone fund investments to $1 million per fiscal biennium and total credits to $50 million per biennium.
  • Reduces the total biennial cap on the existing small business investment credit from $100 million to $50 million.
  • Creates the H2Ohio Fund and requires fund money to be used for water quality purposes, including awarding grants, issuing loans, funding cooperative research, and encouraging cooperation with governmental and private entities.
  • Authorizes the Director of Health to award nonrefundable income tax credits for up to $10,000 in costs incurred to abate lead in an Ohio residence constructed before 1978, and limits the amount of credits that may be awarded to $5 million per biennium.
  • Authorizes application for a federal waiver to transfer Medicaid state share appropriations to the Ohio Department of Health for lead abatement and related activities.
  • Authorizes a local government, under certain circumstances, to extend the term of a tax increment financing exemption for a project TIF for up to 30 additional years.
  • Specifies that a local government amendment that adds affordable housing requirements to the terms of a community reinvestment area (CRA) in existence on July 21, 1994, will not subject the CRA to state law requirements that subsequently became effective. 

            Senate Bill 255 (From the Prior General Assembly - Passed December 19, 2018; signed by the Governor January 4, 2019; most provisions effective April 5, 2019, but home inspector provisions effective November 1, 2019.)  This Bill makes various changes regarding occupational licensing boards, establishes the Home Inspector Law and creates the Ohio Home Inspector Board. 

LEGISLATION PASSED BY IN THE HOUSE

            House Bill 2 (Introduced May 13, 2019; passed by House June 12, 2019; passed by Senate November 13, 2019; House did not concur in Senate amendments on November 19, 2019.)  This Bill would create the TechCred Program and the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program, develop a grant program to support industry sector partnerships. 

            House Bill 7 (Introduced May 13, 2019; passed by House June 20, 2019; first hearing in Senate Finance Committee on October 22, 2019.)  This Bill would create the H2Ohio Trust Fund for the protection and preservation of Ohio's water quality, create the H2Ohio Advisory Council to establish priorities for use of the Fund for water quality programs, and authorize the Ohio Water Development Authority to invest the money in the Fund. 

            House Bill 76 (Introduced February 14, 2019; passed by House October 24, 2019; first hearing in Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee on November 13, 2019.)  This Bill would enact the “Ballot Uniformity and Transparency Act” to modify the form of election notices and ballot language for property tax levies. 

LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE 

            House Bill 13 (Introduced May 16, 2019; third hearing in House Finance Committee on June 19, 2019.)  This Bill would establish the residential broadband expansion program. 

            House Bill 34 (Introduced February 12, 2019; referred to House Commerce and Labor Committee on February 12, 2019.  See also Senate Bill 90.)  This Bill would increase the state minimum wage and allow municipalities, townships, and counties to establish higher minimum wage requirements. 

            House Bill 48 (Introduced February 12, 2019; referred to House Finance Committee on February 12, 2019.)  This Bill would provide for a new Local Government Road Improvement Fund for local governments to fund road improvements. 

            House Bill 54 (Introduced February 12, 2019; referred to House Ways and Means Committee on February 12, 2019.)  This Bill would increase the proportion of state tax revenue allocated to the Local Government Fund from 1.66% to 3.53% beginning July 1, 2019. 

            House Bill 57 (Introduced February 12, 2019; referred to House Ways and Means Committee on February 12, 2019.)  This Bill would exempt certain heating sources from sales taxation and would hold local governments and libraries harmless from the revenue effect. 

            House Bill 72 (Introduced February 14, 2019; referred to House Finance Committee on February 20, 2019.)  This Bill would create the Supplemental State Capital Improvements Pilot Program funded by a temporary transfer from the State’s Budget Stabilization Fund.

            House Bill 75 (Introduced February 14, 2019; reported out of House Ways and Means Committee on April 9, 2019.)  This Bill would require local governments that contest property values to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and to notify property owners. 

            House Bill 78 (Introduced February 14, 2019; referred to House Commerce and Labor Committee on February 20, 2019.)  This Bill would allow political subdivisions, special districts, and state institutions of higher education to elect to apply the Prevailing Wage Law to public improvement projects.

            House Bill 84 (Introduced February 19, 2019; first hearing in House State and Local Government Committee on March 27, 2019.)  This Bill would expressly include, as eligible projects under the State Capital Improvements Program, water and sewer laterals located on private property. 

            House Bill 92 (Introduced February 21, 2019; first hearing in House State and Local Government Committee on March 13, 2019.)  This Bill would require voter approval of any increase in the rate of a county sales tax. 

            House Bill 93 (Introduced February 21, 2019; referred to House Finance Committee on March 5, 2019.)  This Bill would make appropriations related to public transportation. 

            House Bill 98 (Introduced February 26, 2019; second hearing in House Economic and Workforce Development Committee on May 1, 2019.  See also Senate Bill 137.)  This Bill would reinstate the rural industrial park loan fund. 

            House Bill 99 (Introduced February 26, 2019; first hearing in House Ways and Means Committee on November 5, 2019.)  This Bill would raise the homestead exemption income eligibility to $60,000 and increase the tax reduction. 

            House Bill 149 (Introduced March 19, 2019; second hearing in House Economic and Workforce Development Committee on April 10, 2019.)  This Bill would enact the “Affordable Homebuilding and Housing Act” to temporarily exempt from property tax the increased value of land subdivided for residential development. 

            House Bill 152 (Introduced March 20, 2019; first hearing in House State and Local Government Committee on April 10, 2019.)  This Bill would require certain subdivisions to obtain the approval of the body that created the subdivision before levying a tax. 

            House Bill 159 (Introduced March 21, 2019; second hearing in House Civil Justice Committee on April 30, 2019.)  This Bill would regulate the use of indemnity provisions in professional design contracts related to public improvements. 

            House Bill 163 (Introduced March 25, 2019; fifth hearing in House Public Utilities Committee on September 26, 2019; amendments accepted by Committee.)  This Bill would create a process for withholding local government funds and state water and sewer assistance from municipal corporations that engage in certain water and sewer practices with respect to extraterritorial service. 

            House Bill 187 (Introduced April 4, 2019; referred to House State and Local Government Committee on April 10, 2019.)  This Bill would prohibit local tax-related proposals from appearing on an August special election ballot. 

            House Bill 190 (Introduced April 9, 2019; referred to House Finance Committee on April 10, 2019.)  This Bill would create the Ohio Broadband Development Grant Program, encourage the Department of Transportation to work with telecommunications providers to lay fiber optic cable. 

            House Bill 218 (Introduced April 24, 2019; second hearing in House State and Local Government Committee on June 19, 2019.)  This Bill would authorize certain public entities to enter into public-private initiatives with a private party through a public-private agreement regarding public facilities. 

            House Bill 229 (Introduced April 30, 2019; referred to House Commerce and Labor Committee on May 8, 2019.)  This Bill would prohibit discrimination in rental housing based on lawful source of income. 

            House Bill 252 (Introduced May 21, 2019; reported out of House Economic and Workforce Development Committee on June 26, 2019; re-referred to Committee on June 30, 2019.)  This Bill would create the Land Reutilization Demolition Program.

            House Bill 264 (Introduced May 28, 2019; reported out of House State and Local Government Committee on November 20, 2019.)  This Bill would allow the Ohio Water Development Authority to provide for the refinancing of loans for certain public water and waste water infrastructure projects. 

            House Bill 271 (Introduced June 4, 2019; referred to House Commerce and Labor Committee on June 5, 2019.)  This Bill would amend the law regarding smoke detectors in residential premises.

            House Bill 288 (Introduced June 18, 2019; fourth hearing in House Civil Justice Committee on October 1, 2019.)  This Bill would amend the law regarding eminent domain. 

            House Bill 305 (Introduced June 26, 2019; referred to House Finance Committee on June 30, 2019.)  This Bill would create a new school financing system. 

            House Bill 340 (Introduced September 17, 2019; referred to House State and Local Government Committee on September 24, 2019.)  This Bill would revise Ohio’s drainage laws. 

            House Bill 343 (Introduced September 23, 2019; referred to House State and Local Government Committee on October 2, 2019.)  This Bill would make an appropriation related to emergency water and sewer system funding.

LEGISLATION PASSED BY THE SENATE 

            Senate Bill 1 (Introduced February 12, 2019; passed by Senate May 8, 2019; first hearing in House State and Local Government Committee on June 12, 2019.)  This Bill would require certain agencies to reduce the number of regulatory restrictions. 

            Senate Bill 2 (Introduced February 12, 2019; passed by Senate June 12, 2019; first hearing in House Energy and Natural Resources Committee on October 16, 2019.)  This Bill would create a statewide watershed planning structure for watershed programs to be implemented by local soil and water conservation districts.

            Senate Bill 8 (Introduced February 12, 2019; passed by Senate April 3, 2019; second hearing in House Economic and Workforce Development Committee on May 8, 2019.  See also House Bill 166.)  This Bill would authorize tax credits for investments in an Ohio Opportunity Zone. 

            Senate Bill 39 (Introduced February 12, 2019; passed by Senate June 26, 2019; fourth hearing in House Economic and Workforce Development Committee on November 6, 2019.)  This Bill would authorize an insurance premiums tax credit for capital contributions to transformational mixed use development projects.

            Senate Bill 95 (Introduced March 7, 2019; passed by Senate June 12, 2019; second hearing in House Ways and Means Committee on November 19, 2019.)  This Bill would enhance state and local tax inducements for businesses making substantial fixed asset and employment investments and their suppliers.

            Senate Bill 181 (Introduced August 9, 2019; passed by Senate November 6, 2019; not yet referred to House Committee.)  This Bill would require the Chancellor of Higher Education to create a template for workforce-education partnership programs. 

LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN THE SENATE 

            Senate Bill 36 (Introduced February 12, 2019; third hearing in Senate Ways and Means Committee on April 2, 2019.)  This Bill would prescribe how federally subsidized residential rental property must be valued for property tax purposes. 

            Senate Bill 38 (Introduced February 12, 2019; first hearing in Senate Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee on March 26, 2019.)  This Bill would revise the law governing municipal corporation use of water and sewer funds to allow municipal corporations to use up to 5% of sewer and water funds to extend the municipal corporation’s sewer or water system if it is being extended for economic development purposes. 

            Senate Bill 90 (Introduced March 6, 2019; first hearing in Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee on September 25, 2019.  See also House Bill 34.)  This Bill would increase the state minimum wage and to allow municipalities, townships, and counties to establish higher minimum wage requirements. 

            Senate Bill 137 (Introduced April 25, 2019; referred to Senate Finance Committee on May 1, 2019.  See also House Bill 98.)  This Bill would reinstate the rural industrial park loan fund. 

            Senate Bill 153 (Introduced May 21, 2019; first hearing in Senate Ways and Means Committee on June 4, 2019.)  This Bill would permit manufacturers to meet alternative minimum employment and investment requirements to qualify for the Job Retention Tax Credit.

            Senate Bill 176 (Introduced July 16, 2019; first hearing in Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee on October 2, 2019.)  This Bill would license residential-only construction contractors and make changes to the law regulating specialty construction contractors. 

            Senate Bill 177 (Introduced July 16, 2019; referred to Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee on September 11, 2019.)  This Bill would regulate and require the registration of roofing contractors. 

            Senate Bill 180 (Introduced August 5, 2019; first hearing in Senate Finance Committee on October 1, 2019.)  This Bill would authorize the issuance of industrial development bonds by a township and authorize counties, townships, and municipal corporations to issue industrial development bonds without requiring the county, township, or municipal corporation to designate a community improvement corporation as its agency for industrial, commercial, distribution, and research development.

            Senate Bill 204 (Introduced September 30, 2019; first hearing in Senate Finance Committee on November 5, 2019.)  This Bill would authorize the creation of an airport development district for the purpose of funding public infrastructure improvements and attracting airlines and additional flights to a qualifying airport. 

            Senate Bill 212 (Introduced October 7, 2019; second hearing in Senate Ways and Means Committee on November 19, 2019.)  This Bill would authorize townships and municipal corporations to designate areas within which new homes and improvements to existing homes are wholly or partially exempted from property taxation. 

            Senate Bill 216 (Introduced October 10, 2019; referred to Senate Finance Committee on October 23, 2019.)  This Bill would allow school districts to exempt recipients of the existing homestead exemption from additional school district taxes.

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