Author: AIA Ohio

State Spending Bill Up Next (Capital Budget)

With the biennial budget in the rear-view mirror and the December holidays looming, Ohio policymakers and stakeholders are beginning work on the next big state spending measure – the capital appropriations bill for Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020. The legislation designed to fund capital improvements with state-issued debt is slated for introduction and passage by April 2018, meaning work has just started and is expected to move quickly at the beginning of the new year. State agencies submitted requests to the Office of Budget and Management in mid-November for the funding that will make up the bulk of the bill. Officials expect the total price tag of the measure to be similar to the last capital bill. Community project requests (from legislators and local governments) that make up a small but often much-discussed portion of the legislation, are expected to be submitted around the first of the year. The General Assembly is eyeing the bill’s introduction around February or early March, with votes expected before April. Once the bill is introduced, the process usually goes quickly. The previous capital budget (SB310 in the 131st General Assembly) cleared both chambers and was signed by the governor just over a month after its introduction. Having been worked out behind the scenes beforehand, the measure sailed through the legislature without opposition or amendments, That measure included $2.62 billion in appropriations, including $160...

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Preservation Ohio Names 2017 List of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites

Preservation Ohio, the state’s oldest statewide historic preservation organization, recently named 11 properties to its annual list of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites. Preservation Ohio has compiled the list since 1993. Preservation Ohio accepts nominations from any citizen or organization. The Board of Trustees then selects the final list. Over the years, Preservation Ohio explains, “the list has proven successful in saving some of Ohio’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage. Recognition of the Westcott House in Springfield, a Frank Lloyd Wright design, led to a multi-million dollar restoration. The Anthony Wayne Hotel in Hamilton, the Masonic Temple in Columbus and the Unionville Tavern share...

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Tax reform threatens historic buildings

As the GOP undertakes comprehensive tax reform, it should restore the Federal Historic Tax Credit, a program that preserves America’s irreplaceable historic buildings, generates jobs and more than pays for itself. It simply makes no sense to jettison an incentive that, since its inception in 1976, has generated more than $29.9 billion in federal tax revenue. This is a return of $1.20 on each dollar in tax credits awarded, according to data collected by the Rutgers Center for Urban Policy Research. In fact, the federal program works so well that Ohio pairs it with its own historic tax credits, which provide a return of $6.20 in taxes generated for every dollar the state forgoes through its tax credit. When something improves a community’s quality of life and returns more money than it costs, one would think Congress would let it be. But the federal historic tax credit was not included in the Republican leadership’s framework for House and Senate committees drafting the tax-reform legislation. We urge Ohio’s Congressional delegation to push hard to restore and improve the Federal Historic Tax Credit — made permanent in the Reagan tax reform of 1986. We grasp that our byzantine federal tax code must be streamlined. And, in many cases, removing tax exceptions could ultimately lower the tax load for many. But without the incentives provided by this self-funding credit, thousands of projects...

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Local Government Infrastructure Bond Bank (HB54)

The Ohio Senate is considering legislation to amend the Ohio Constitution, permitting local governments to borrow from a “Bond Bank” for infrastructure construction projects. House Bill 54, which passed the House (93-1), is sponsored by Representative Bill Blessing (R, Cincinnati) and Representative Theresa Gavarone (R, Bowling Green).  If signed into law, the bill would create the State Bond Bank to issue tax-exempt bonds, to be re-paid by local government borrowers.  The localities would “pool” their needs rather than enter into smaller, uneconomical debt, creating economies of scale.  The Ohio Treasurer would administer the funds.  The Ohio Senate Finance Committee has held four hearings on the...

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