On Wednesday, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce submitted written testimony in support of Senate Bill 45. SB 45 is identical to the introduced version of SB 95 that we also supported in the 133rd General Assembly.
SB 45 puts in place a few economic development inducements for a very select subset of businesses that need a mega site (defined term) and that will either invest $1billion or create a payroll of $75 million with wages at a floor of 300% of minimum wage. SB 45 is needed because it codifies certain development tools that can be quickly activated if a big project is under consideration. As we wrote in our testimony, the world of economic development is very competitive, and this legislation sends a signal to the business community that Ohio is ready to partner with companies that want to make high-impact, long-term investments.
Equally important, the limited scope of eligibility along with compliance checks alleviates our concern with any significant impact on the commercial activity tax (CAT). The CAT has remained a stable source of revenue with limited exceptions. SB 45 strikes a nice balance between the enhancement of economic development tools available for use by development professionals and framing the available incentives with sturdy guardrails.
The timeline for SB 45 is unclear, but it is our hope that SB 45 can move through the entire legislative process during the 134th General Assembly.