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Week in Review: July 2, 2023

Written on Jun 30, 2023


County boards of elections began sending out absentee ballots for military and overseas voters for the Tuesday, Aug. 8 special election on Friday, June 23. Voters are being asked to weigh in on Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment that would raise the passage threshold of future amendments to 60 percent. Friday was also the deadline for boards of elections to update and publish notices of the special election, and to provide the notices to federal write-in absentee voters upon request. Monday, July 10, is the deadline for voter registration for the special election. Early, in-person and absentee voting for all other voters begins on Tuesday, July 11.


Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced this week that there were 16,409 new business filings in May 2023, up 12% from May of last year. Although still below prior record-setting years, Ohio business filings remain ahead of the previous year's pace by more than 3%, reflecting 83,055 total businesses filed so far in 2023, the secretary of state said.


Recently released U.S. Census Bureau data measured Americans who moved across state lines in 2021, estimating 184,477 people moved to Ohio from other states and 189,534 moved out. The margin of error for this data was significant, at +/- 11,210 people who moved to Ohio and +/-10,924 people who left. The report also found 1.23 million Ohioans moved within the state in 2021, at a +/-27,914 margin. Ohio ranked 16th for people moving in, with the top five states being Florida, 674,740; Texas, 591,395; California, 433,402; North Carolina, 336,681; and Georgia, 302,512. Among neighboring states, Pennsylvania led at 261,831, followed by Indiana, 156,417; Michigan, 143,042; Kentucky, 107,693; and West Virginia, 43,801.


The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) said Friday that the $600 million onshoring grant agreement with Intel Corporation has been finalized. ODOD said the funds will help offset costs associated with the construction of the semiconductor manufacturing campus in Licking County. As part of the grant agreement, $300 million is available for the construction of each of the two chip factories set to be completed as part of the initial phase of Intel's $20 billion investment in Ohio. Funds will be available for two years after construction begins on each facility, which must be completed by Dec. 31, 2028.

Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced Monday that Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to invest an estimated $7.8 billion by the end of 2029 as part of expanded data center operations in Central Ohio, creating hundreds of new jobs. Final selections for the new data center campuses will be made at a later date, but "numerous" locations are under consideration. The project is the second-largest single private sector company investment in Ohio's history. The centers will have computer servers, data storage drives, networking equipment, and other forms of technology infrastructure used to power cloud computing.

Separate from the Amazon announcement, Gov. DeWine's administration announced Monday the approval of assistance for nine projects expected to create 534 new jobs and retain 1,007 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought by JobsOhio and its regional partners. The projects are expected to collectively result in more than $40 million in new payroll and spur more than $76.6 million in investments across Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Development (DOD) announced Tuesday the Minority Development Financing Advisory Board (MDFAB) had approved financial support for three businesses, helping minority- and women-owned businesses sustain and expand their operations. They include BBCO Design LLC (Fairfield County), Inspiring Hope Counseling LLC (Williams County) and Designs by Marie (Ottawa County).


The DeWine administration announced Thursday that 38 historic preservation projects will receive a total of $50.6 million in tax credits to rehabilitate 59 buildings, with around $523 million in public and private investment expected to be leveraged as a result. Sixteen communities will receive funds under the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program (OHPTC) as part of the announcement, with Caldwell, Sidney and Willoughby being first-time award recipients. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Development (DOD) in partnership with the Ohio History Connection (OHC) State Historic Preservation Office. It assists private developers in rehabilitation of historic buildings, many of which are currently vacant and generate little economic activity. The tax credits will not be issued until project construction is complete and all program requirements are verified.


The Ohio Supreme Court recently announced $2.9 million in FY23 technology grants to 42 court jurisdictions in 36 counties. Awards fund technology for remote proceedings and new or updated hardware and software for case management systems, including e-filing, cyber-attack and other security protections, and text and email notifications to reduce non-appearances and related costs for rescheduled hearings and arrest warrants. Grants max-out at $150,000.


Representatives of the County Auditors Association of Ohio (CAAO) including former Rep. Michael Stinziano told House members the property tax amendment inserted in the Senate's budget and echoed in HB187 (Hall-Bird) relies on a misperception of property valuations and could increase actual taxes most on Ohioans who can least afford them. The House Ways and Means Committee heard opposition testimony on HB187 from Warren County Auditor Matt Nolan, Ottawa County Auditor Jennifer Widmer, and Stinziano, now Franklin County auditor. They said the standalone bill and Senate version of HB33's attempt to average three years of sales data for the current triennial review of property valuations, rather than weighting the current year, misconstrues the relationship between property values and actual taxes and does nothing to correct property taxation policies adopted by the Legislature with unintended consequences in the years since efforts to control rising valuations nearly five decades ago.

This feature was provided by Hannah New Service and selected for you by OSCPA Government Relations Staff.

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