: Members of the Ohio Senate

FROM: Daniel Navin - Assistant Vice President, Tax & Economic Policy

RE: Upcoming Floor Vote on House Bill 182

DATE: May 25, 2016

Historically, the Ohio Chamber has had a significant degree of involvement regarding the establishment and operation of Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDDs) in the state. Back in 1995, we worked with the sponsor of the bill noted above, Rep. Kirk Schuring, to expand statewide the authority to create a JEDD beyond its three existing locations at the time. Until then, the Ohio Chamber had been very skeptical and cautious about the utility and attractiveness of JEDDs because, at their core, JEDDs involve the extension of a municipal income tax to businesses located in a township which, of course, has no authority to levy a local income tax.
The bill before you today constitutes the first substantial update of the JEDD law since 1995. We urge you to support House Bill 182, as it authorizes JEDDs to be created for purposes of redevelopment, while offering businesses that do not receive any material benefit to opt out from the JEDD.
One of the most constructive aspects of a JEDD is the fact that the businesses involved in its creation and functioning would have a say in how it will be governed and funded. There are several tweaks in HB 182 that we believe respond effectively and fairly to concerns that may be held by property owners, business owners and contracting parties to a JEDD:
  • Allowing the designation of "excluded parcels" within the JEDD boundaries;
  • Requiring written notice to property and business owners that did not sign petitions supporting an amendment to add territory to a JEDD; and,
  • Mandating that the JEDD include an economic development plan and additional procedures for appointing the JEDD board of directors.
The Ohio Chamber believes that JEDDs have mostly been created in previously undeveloped, often rural, "green space" township territory. The extension in HB 182 of the authority to create a JEDD for purposes of redevelopment could pave the way for economic development in more land-locked urban and suburban areas that may be having a difficult time attracting investment capital and jobs. As a result, we urge your support for HB 182.
Please be aware that your floor vote on HB 182 will be reflected in the Ohio Chamber's General Assembly Voting Record. If you have any questions about this bill or the Ohio Chamber's position, please contact me at 614-629-0927, 614-906-7458 or