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Spring 2024

Development Incentives Quarterly: Spring 2024

Dealing with Social Goals when Negotiating and Securing Economic Development Incentives

In addition to pursuing job creation and economic development goals, it has become increasingly common for state and local governments to tie their incentives to a wide range of social goals.  While there have always been a few strings attached to various incentives, if you feel as if there is an ever-growing variety of ancillary goals an incentives recipient needs to manage, you are not alone.  It is therefore vital that as you contemplate whether an incentive will work for your project, you have a clear understanding of all the costs of any string that may be attached to it. 

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One of the regular features of Development Incentives Quarterly is an interview with an industry leader.  For this edition, we are keeping that close to home with an interview of Scott Ziance, the founder and leader of the Vorys international economic development incentives practice and the board chair for Vista Site Selection, LLC, an ancillary business of the law firm launched in late 2022.  Scott graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1993 and from Harvard Law School in 1997, and he has been at the law firm since September 1997.  This year, he and his wife, Carolynn, will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.  They have two adult daughters, Cassie and Eleanor, and one mean Chihuahua, Parker. 

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Pending Rules and Competing Visions: Charting the Economic Development Potential of Ohio’s Recreational Cannabis Tax Revenues

On November 7, 2023, Ohio voters approved Issue 2, a citizen-initiated statute to legalize recreational cannabis.  Throughout the Issue 2 campaign, supporters of the new law highlighted the economic benefits that could come from new sales tax revenues from legal recreational cannabis sales.  However, at this point, the administrative rules that will dictate how these revenues will be spent are still pending.  As state officials are actively preparing the rules that will define how new recreational cannabis sales tax revenues will be spent,[i] these officials can learn from how other states are taking advantage of this new revenue stream to advance the goals expressed in Issue 2.

Just like with any new revenue source, local government officials and economic development professionals should begin considering how recreational cannabis sales tax revenues can be leveraged to create new jobs and attract private investment in Ohio communities.  Even though there are currently competing legislative proposals in the Statehouse to revise (or overhaul) how recreational cannabis tax dollars would be spent compared to the programs set out in Issue 2, there will, nonetheless, likely be new revenues flowing to local governments that can be used, directly or indirectly, to advance economic development.

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About Development Incentives Quarterly: We at Vorys are continually educating ourselves regarding economic development incentives, including tax credit changes and opportunities.  We created the Development Incentives Quarterly to provide you relevant information that you need in the changing landscape of this area.  Our economic development incentives clients include developers, political subdivisions and growing businesses, so you’ll see information from a variety of perspectives. That diverse perspective has allowed us to grow to be one of the largest economic development incentives practices in the state of Ohio. As we’ve grown, we have also expanded our geographic reach and now advise on projects across the country.

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