Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Ohio preservation tax credit round begins July 1

The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) will begin accepting applications for the third round of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit (OHPTC) program on July 1.

The program, which closed abruptly in March 2008 due to a lack of funding, was resurrected as part of the $1.57 billion Ohio Bipartisan Job Stimulus Plan and budgeted with $120 million per application cycle.

At the time, only 37 of the 115 applicants were approved for the tax credits, leading to five developers – including local developers American Can Building, LLC and Middle Earth 617 Vine Street, LLC – to file a writ of mandamus with the Ohio Supreme Court in an attempt to compel ODOD to approve the remainder of unfunded, qualified applications.

In October 2008, 48 of those 55 qualified applications were approved for a total of $78.2 million in tax credits, leaving only $41.8 million for this funding cycle – $17.5 million for fiscal year 2010 and $24.2 million for fiscal year 2011.

Changes to the OHPTC include the elimination of the "first-come, first-served" awarding of credits, a cap of $5 million in tax credits per project, updated scoring criteria to evaluate economic impacts, and clarified program policies and administrative rules.

The OHPTC is equal to 25 percent of qualified renovation and rehabilitation expenditures, refundable when the project is complete and generating tax revenue back to the state.

"The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program has already shown that it creates local jobs, spurs economic development by leveraging private sector investment, and revitalizes important symbols of Ohio's history," says ODOD interim director Lisa Patt-McDaniel. "The program is an excellent economic stimulus tool for Ohio and we expect the next application period will increase the significant impact this program is having across the state."

This year's year-long application cycle has been split into two sixth-month segments, with deadlines of December 31, 2009 for round three and June 30, 2010 for round four.

Previous reading on BC:
Lt. Gov. Fisher in OTR today to make announcement on historic tax credits (10/16/08)
ODOD: Forcing tax credit approvals would 'offend constitutional separation of powers' (5/16/08)
Working group makes recommendations on state tax credit program (4/28/08)
Ohio developers file writ with Supreme Court over tax credit program (4/11/08)
Cincinnati, SW Ohio projects may receive historic tax credits after all (4/3/08)