As Introduced

128th General Assembly
Regular Session
S. B. No. 221

Senators Morano, Wagoner 

Cosponsors: Senators Schiavoni, Turner, Schaffer 

To amend section 5709.081 of the Revised Code to 1
authorize property tax exemption for municipally 2
owned facilities housing independent professional 3
minor league baseball teams.4


       Section 1. That section 5709.081 of the Revised Code be 5
amended to read as follows:6

       Sec. 5709.081.  (A) Real and tangible personal property owned 7
by a political subdivision that is a public recreational facility 8
for athletic events shall be exempt from taxation if all of the 9
following apply:10

       (1) The property is controlled and managed by a political11
subdivision or a county-related corporation or by a similar12
corporation under the direct control of a political subdivision13
and whose members and trustees are chosen or appointed by the14

       (2) All revenues and receipts derived by the subdivision or16
corporation that controls and manages the property, after17
deducting amounts needed to pay necessary expenses for the18
operation and management of the property, accrue to the political19
subdivision owning the property;20

       (3) The property is not occupied and used for more than seven 21
days in any calendar month by any private entity for profit or for 22
more than a total of fifteen days in any calendar month by all 23
such private entities for profit;24

       (4) The property is under the direction and control of the25
political subdivision or managing corporation whenever it is being26
used by a private entity for profit;27

       (5) The primary user or users of the property, if such a28
primary user exists, are controlled and managed by the political29
subdivision or corporation that controls and manages the property.30

       (B) Tangible personal property, and all buildings,31
structures, fixtures, and improvements of any kind to the land,32
that are constructed or, in the case of personal property,33
acquired after March 2, 1992, and are part of or used in a public34
recreational facility used by a major league professional athletic35
team or a class A to class AAA minor league affiliate of a major36
league baseball team for a significant portion of its home37
schedule, and land acquired by a political subdivision in 1999 for38
such purposes or originally leased from a political subdivision, 39
such political subdivision qualifying as such pursuant to division 40
(G) of this section, in 1998 for such purposes, are declared to be 41
public property used for a public purpose and are exempt from 42
taxation, if all of the following apply:43

       (1) Such property, or the land upon which such property is 44
located if such land was originally leased in 1998 from a 45
political subdivision that qualifies as such pursuant to division 46
(G) of this section, is owned by one or more political47
subdivisions or by a corporation controlled by such subdivisions;48

       (2) Such property was or is any of the following:49

       (a) Constructed or, in the case of personal property,50
acquired pursuant to an agreement with a municipal corporation to51
implement a development, redevelopment, or renewal plan for an52
area declared by the municipal corporation to be a slum or53
blighted area, as those terms are defined in section 725.01 of the54
Revised Code;55

       (b) Financed in whole or in part with public obligations as56
defined in section 5709.76 of the Revised Code or otherwise paid57
for in whole or in part by one or more political subdivisions;58

       (c) An improvement or addition to property defined in59
division (B)(2)(a) or (b) of this section.60

       (3) Such property is controlled and managed by either of the 61

       (a) One or more of the political subdivisions or the63
corporation that owns it;64

       (b) A designee, tenant, or agent of such political65
subdivision or subdivisions or corporation pursuant to a66
management, lease, or similar written agreement.67

       (4) The primary user or users of such property, if a primary68
user or primary users exist, either:69

       (a) Are controlled and managed by one or more of the70
political subdivisions or the corporation that owns the property;71

       (b) Operate under leases, licenses, management agreements, or73
similar arrangements with, and providing for the payment of rents,74
revenues, or other remuneration to, one or more of the political75
subdivisions or the corporation that owns the property.76

       (5) Any residual cash accrues to the political subdivision or 77
subdivisions that own the property or that control the corporation 78
that owns the property, and is used for the public purposes of the 79
subdivision or subdivisions. As used in division (B)(5) of this 80
section, "residual cash" means any revenue and receipts derived 81
from the property by the political subdivision or subdivisions or 82
corporation that owns the property and that are available for 83
unencumbered use by the political subdivision or subdivisions or 84
corporation, after deducting amounts needed to make necessary 85
expenditures, pay debt service, and provide for working capital 86
related to the ownership, management, operation, and use of the 87
property, including payments of taxes on the taxable part of the 88
public recreational facility, contractually obligated payments or 89
deposits into reserves or otherwise, and service payments under 90
section 307.699 of the Revised Code.91

       (C) The exemption provided in division (B) of this section92
also applies to both of the following:93

       (1) The property during its construction or, in the case of94
tangible personal property, acquisition during the construction95
period, if the owner meets the condition of division (B)(1) of96
this section and has agreements that provide for the satisfaction97
of all other conditions of division (B) of this section upon the98
completion of the construction;99

       (2) Any improvement or addition made after March 2, 1992, to100
a public recreational facility that was constructed before March101
2, 1992, as long as all other conditions in division (B) of this102
section are met.103

       (D) A corporation that owns property exempt from taxation104
under division (B) of this section is a public body for the105
purposes of section 121.22 of the Revised Code. The corporation's106
records are public records for the purposes of section 149.43 of107
the Revised Code, except records related to matters set forth in108
division (G) of section 121.22 of the Revised Code and records109
related to negotiations that are not yet completed for financing,110
leases, or other agreements.111

       (E) The exemption under division (B) of this section applies112
to property that is owned by the political subdivision or113
subdivisions or the corporation that owns the public recreational114
facility. Tangible personal property owned by users, managers, or115
lessees of the facility is taxable when used in the public116
recreational facility.117

       (F) All real property constituting a public recreational 118
facility, including the land on which the facility is situated, 119
that is owned by a municipal corporation and used primarily by an 120
independent professional minor league baseball team for a 121
significant portion of its home schedule is declared to be public 122
property used for a public purpose, and is exempt from taxation, 123
if the facility is constructed in 2008 or thereafter, the team 124
operates at the facility under a lease, license, management 125
agreement, or similar arrangement with the municipal corporation 126
that requires the team to pay rent, revenue, or other remuneration 127
to the municipal corporation, and any residual cash, as defined in 128
division (B)(5) of this section, that accrues to the municipal 129
corporation is used for the public purposes of the municipal 130

       For the purposes of this division, an independent 132
professional minor league baseball team is a baseball team that 133
employs professional players and that is a member of an 134
established league composed of teams that are not affiliated with 135
a constituent member club of major league baseball, incorporated.136

       (G) Nothing in this section or in any other section of the137
Revised Code prohibits or otherwise precludes an agreement between138
a political subdivision, or a corporation controlled by a139
political subdivision, that owns or operates a public recreational140
facility that is exempted from taxation under division (A) or,141
(B), or (F) of this section and the board of education of a school142
district or the legislative authority of a municipal corporation, 143
or both, in which all or a part of that facility is located,144
providing for payments to the school district or municipal 145
corporation, or both, in lieu of taxes that otherwise would be 146
charged against real and tangible personal property exempted from 147
taxation under this section, for a period of time and under such 148
terms and conditions as the legislative authority of the political 149
subdivision and the board of education or municipal legislative 150
authority, or both, may agree, which agreements are hereby 151
specifically authorized.152

       (G)(H) As used in this section, "political subdivision" 153
includes the state or an agency of the state if the city, local, 154
or exempted village school district in which the property is 155
situated expressly consents to exempting the property from 156

       Section 2. That existing section 5709.081 of the Revised Code 158
is hereby repealed.159

       Section 3. The amendment by this act of section 5709.081 of 160
the Revised Code applies to tax years 2009 and thereafter. 161
Notwithstanding section 5715.27 of the Revised Code, an 162
application for exemption for property described in division (F) 163
of section 5709.081 of the Revised Code, as amended by this act, 164
for tax year 2009 may be filed after December 30, 2009, and before 165
the first day of the second month following the month in which 166
this act takes effect. If any taxes for tax year 2009 have been 167
paid, the amount paid shall be refunded in the manner prescribed 168
by section 5715.22 of the Revised Code for overpayment of taxes.169