130th Ohio General Assembly
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Sub. H. B. No. 18  As Reported by the House Ways and Means Committee
As Reported by the House Ways and Means Committee

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
Sub. H. B. No. 18


Representative Baker 

Cosponsors: Representatives Adams, J., Beck, Blair, Blessing, Boose, Combs, Derickson, Dovilla, Hayes, Henne, Huffman, Pillich, Ruhl, Snitchler, Stinziano, Uecker, Letson 



A BILL
To amend section 166.03 and to enact section 166.31 of the Revised Code to authorize grants to an employer that moves operations into a previously vacant facility and increases payroll by hiring and employing employees at the facility.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That section 166.03 be amended and section 166.31 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 166.03.  (A) There is hereby created the facilities establishment fund within the state treasury, consisting of proceeds from the issuance of obligations as specified under section 166.08 of the Revised Code; the moneys received by the state from the sources specified in section 166.09 of the Revised Code; service charges imposed under sections 166.06 and 166.07 of the Revised Code; any grants, gifts, or contributions of moneys received by the director of development to be used for loans made under section 166.07 of the Revised Code or for the payment of the allowable costs of project facilities; and all other moneys appropriated or transferred to the fund. Moneys in the loan guarantee fund in excess of the loan guarantee reserve requirement, but subject to the provisions and requirements of any guarantee contracts, may be transferred to the facilities establishment fund by the treasurer of state upon the order of the director of development. Moneys received by the state under Chapter 122. of the Revised Code, to the extent allocable to the utilization of moneys derived from proceeds of the sale of obligations pursuant to section 166.08 of the Revised Code, shall be credited to the facilities establishment fund.
(B) All moneys appropriated or transferred to the facilities establishment fund may be released at the request of the director of development for payment of allowable costs or the making of loans under section 166.07 or the awarding of grants under section 166.31 of the Revised Code, for transfer to the loan guarantee fund established in section 166.06 of the Revised Code, or for use for the purpose of or transfer to the funds established by sections 122.35, 122.42, 122.54, 122.55, 122.56, 122.561, 122.57, 122.601, and 122.80 of the Revised Code and, until July 1, 2003, the fund established by section 166.031 of the Revised Code, and, until July 1, 2007, the fund established by section 122.26 of the Revised Code, but only for such of those purposes as are within the authorization of Section 13 of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution, in all cases subject to the approval of the controlling board.
(C) The department of development, in the administration of the facilities establishment fund, is encouraged to utilize and promote the utilization of, to the maximum practicable extent, the other existing programs, business incentives, and tax incentives that department is required or authorized to administer or supervise.
Sec. 166.31. (A) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Vacant commercial space" means space that has been unoccupied and available for use in a trade or business for the twelve months immediately preceding the lease or purchase date described in division (B) of this section, located in either of the following:
(a) A building, seventy-five per cent or more of the square footage of which has been unoccupied and available for use in a trade or business for the twelve months immediately preceding the initial lease or purchase date described in division (B) of this section;
(b) A business park, seventy-five per cent or more of the square footage of which has been unoccupied and available for use in a trade or business for the twelve months immediately preceding the initial lease or purchase date described in division (B) of this section.
For the purpose of determining whether a building, the construction of which is not complete, has been unoccupied for the required length of time, the building first becomes "unoccupied" when its construction discontinues as determined by the person who owned the property at that time.
(2) "Business park" means two or more buildings located on the same or adjacent parcels held under common ownership.
(3) "Building" means a building as defined in section 5701.02 of the Revised Code the construction of which is at least eighty-five per cent complete and that may be lawfully occupied.
(4) "Qualifying employee" means an employee employed by an employer, provided the employee is employed at the vacant commercial space for at least one year, employment of the employee increases the employer's payroll above the employer's base employment threshold, and the employee had not been employed by the employer within sixty days before the date the employer purchases or enters into a lease for a vacant commercial space.
(5) "Base employment threshold" means the total payroll of the employer on the date the employer purchases or enters into a lease for a vacant commercial space.
(B) This section does not apply to the federal government, the state, the state's political subdivisions, or nonprofit organizations.
An employer required to deduct and withhold income tax from an employee's compensation under section 5747.06 and remit such amounts under section 5747.07 of the Revised Code may apply to the director of development for a grant from the facilities establishment fund, provided that, on or after the effective date of this section as enacted by H.B. 18 of the 129th general assembly, the employer occupies under a lease or purchases vacant commercial space at which the employer employs at least fifty employees or at least fifty per cent of its employees who are employed in this state. An employer may qualify for the grant only once. The amount of the grant awarded under this section shall be five hundred dollars for each qualifying employee. No grant application shall be accepted by the director three years or later after the effective date of this section.
The director shall prescribe application materials and explanations. An employer applying for a grant under this section shall submit the following with the employer's application to the director:
(1) An affidavit from the person who, in the case of a lease of vacant commercial space, owns the property or, in the case of a purchase, is the most recent owner of the property indicating that the building meets the requirements of a vacant commercial space;
(2) Payroll records indicating, for each qualifying employee, that the employee was employed for one year or longer at the vacant commercial space;
(3) Quarterly reports of wage information submitted by the employer to the department of job and family services pursuant to section 4141.20 of the Revised Code indicating the employer's qualifying employees and the employer's base employment threshold.
Upon receipt of an application, the director shall review the application and attached materials and approve the application if, to the director's satisfaction, the employer fulfills all the grant requirements of this section, and if, in the judgement of the director, the unencumbered balance in the facilities establishment fund is sufficient to fund the amount of the grant. Upon approval of a grant application, the director shall authorize the award of the grant from the facilities establishment fund to the employer. If the director finds that the unencumbered balance in the facilities establishment fund is not sufficient to fund a grant under this section and the grant applicant otherwise qualifies, the director shall forward the application to the director or chief executive of any entity authorized or charged by law to perform job creation and other economic development functions for this state.
Upon receipt of the application, the director or chief executive of the entity shall authorize the award of the grant from funds available to that entity from any portion of the unencumbered funds available to the entity that may be used for such purpose.
An employer receiving a grant under this section from the facilities establishment fund must use the grant for the acquisition, construction, enlargement, improvement, or equipment, of property, structures, equipment, and facilities used by the employer in business at the vacant commercial space occupied by the employer.
(C) An employer may claim a grant under this section with respect to a building, the construction of which is not complete, only if the employer submits both of the following with the employer's application:
(1) A copy of a certificate from the appropriate building authority indicating that the building is at least eighty-five per cent complete and that the building may lawfully be occupied;
(2) An affidavit from the person who owned the property at the time construction discontinued indicating the date construction discontinued.
Section 2. That existing section 166.03 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.
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