Companies will find numerous assistance programs to reduce costs and risks for locations and expansions in Washington County. You can learn more about business incentives in Ohio at the Ohio Department of Development website or contact SeOPA at (740) 373-3233 or email us at email@example.com.
1. Property Tax Exemptions - The Enterprise Zone (EZ) program allows companies to locate a facility in certain municipalities or townships and receive a partial property tax exemption on new investments in new or significantly improved buildings. Most of Washington County is designated as an EZ. The term and percent of exemption are negotiated. By law, the term and percent cannot exceed 75% for 10 years in municipalities or 60% for 10 years in townships without school board approval. The EZ program requires completion of an application, which must be approved by local officials prior to beginning construction. In portions of Belpre and Marietta, the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) program can provide up to 100% real property tax exemptions on new industrial or commercial properties or the increased value of building improvements.
2. Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) - Ohio's JCTC allows companies creating new jobs in Ohio to apply for a credit or refund on their corporate franchise tax or a state income tax. Once the corporate franchise tax phases out, the credit will apply to the Commercial Activity Tax. The credit is measured as a percentage of state income tax revenue withheld by the business for employees hired to fill new jobs. A company must create at least 25 new, full-time jobs for Ohio residents in three years to be eligible. The business must apply for the credit before committing to the project. While the law permits such credits of up to seventy-five percent for up to ten years, the Tax Credit Authority has been approving such applications within the general range of fifty to sixty percent for a term of five to ten years. A company must meet 11 eligibility requirements to qualify for the credit.
3. 166 Direct Loan - The Ohio Department of Development's (ODOD's) 166 Loan Fund can finance land, building, and M&E. The program will finance 30% to 40% of fixed asset costs, or $15,000 per job to be created, or $1,000,000, whichever is less. The interest rate is fixed at about 4%. Terms range from 5 to 15 years, depending upon the useful life of the assets being financed.
The use of ODOD loans requires the payment of Ohio's prevailing wage rate on the construction and installation of machinery and equipment. The program will only lend to companies engaged in manufacturing, research & development, distribution and business services with a high percentage of sales outside of Ohio. The program requires completion and approval of a financial assistance application prior to a company committing to move forward with a project. A thorough financial analysis and full collateralization are required for approval. Security enhancement may be required. ODOD will take a shared first mortgage or lien position. ODOD financing is take-out financing, meaning interim financing may be required until construction is complete or M&E is installed. The approval process typically takes 90 days.
4. Revolving Loan Funds - Buckeye Hills Regional Development District has Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) that can provide partial financing for fixed assets. The program is similar to the 166 Direct Loan except: (1) loans are capped at a maximum of $150,000; (2) the dollar per job ratio can be $25,000 per job; (3) the RLF will take a second mortgage or lien position; (4) Retail and commercial operations are eligible; (5) the approval process can be quicker, and fees will be less. Learn more about the RLFs at http://www.buckeyehills.org/assistance/loan
5. Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund - Taxable and tax-exempt bond financing is available for projects through the Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund (OEBF), which can finance up to 90 percent of the project costs to a maximum of $10 million. The term is subject to negotiation, but may range from 7 to 15 years. The interest rate on these bonds is fixed for the term of the loan and is determined at the time the bonds are issued. The use of OEBF funds would require the payment of Ohio's prevailing wage rate on the construction of any buildings and installation of machinery and equipment. The program requires completion and approval of a financial assistance application prior to a company committing to move forward with a project. A thorough financial analysis and full collateralization are required for approval. Security enhancement may be required.
6. Industrial Development Bonds - The Southeastern Ohio Port Authority (SeOPA) has the ability to issue industrial development bonds as a conduit to credit worthy companies undertaking a significant capital project. Bonds issued for manufacturing projects meeting certain guidelines have the ability to be tax-exempt, which lowers the interest rate of the bonds. SeOPAs involvement can also offer tax savings. Up to 90% of a capital project can be financed. Companies must be able to demonstrate their financial strength through their financial statements. A debt reserve account and credit enhancement, typically in the form of a letter of credit, may be required.
7. Ohio Investment In Training Program (OITP) - Through OITP, the state can reimburse a company for up to one-half of the instructional costs for eligible training areas, excluding trainee wages. The amount of grant will depend upon the wages of jobs, cost of training, and eligible expenses. Reimbursement amounts typically range from $250 to $1,000 per job.
7. Infrastructure Grants - The Ohio Department of Development has funds available for infrastructure improvements serving a project site. The funds are usually granted to a community. Eligible activities can include water or sewer line extensions, road upgrades, and rail spurs. The Department usually funds only a portion of any such project and works with the company and local community to complete the required financing. The actual grant amount will be determined by fund availability, the costs of the infrastructure improvements and the number of jobs related to the project.