The measure would complete the transition of the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) into the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA).
It also creates creates within ODSA the Office of TourismOhio, which would be funded through a five-year pilot program that links funding for TourismOhio to the growth in sales tax revenues of tourism-related industries.
Specifically, the legislation would:
- Create a pilot program, TourismOhio, to provide a dedicated funding source for tourism marketing;
- Improve access to capital for minority-owned businesses by increasing the amount of financing available; and
- Reform the tax credit process to ensure businesses are not penalized by delays due to the meeting schedule of the Ohio Tax Credit Authority.
ODSA would provide essential services to JobsOhio — the state’s private, non-profit entity created through House Bill 1 — including the administration and oversight of loans and tax credits that will further create and expand Ohio businesses.
“This jobs bill is a key part of our long-term plan to transition Ohio government’s economic development functions from a dated bureaucracy to an efficient, goal-oriented agency," Dovilla said in a news release.
“Our goal in creating the Development Services Agency is not only to assist Ohio businesses directly by providing more access to capital, but also to have a system free of red tape that can easily respond to what these business need to be successful — not delay them in the process,” Hagan said.
The legislation phases out both the Water and Sewer Commission, which has not met or taken action since 2007, and the Development Finance Advisory Council, which currently slows down the process of closing loans. The State Controlling Board would continue to review and authorize such loans.
The legislation is awaiting a bill number and is expected to receive hearings in the House in the near future.