Ohio has the potential to bring millions of dollars in additional investment, enhance job growth, and foster economic development through the continued investment in brownfield redevelopment. Found in every county, these 9,000+ former industrial and commercial sites are unusable in their current condition.
Through a combination of regulatory reforms and the establishment of “Clean Ohio 2.0”—a funding program that is flexible and designed for long term stability—Ohio’s communities can accelerate economic development and jobs growth through brownfield redevelopment.
Reprogram Existing Revenue
The original Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund program was funded with revenue generated from the sale of state bonds, backed by revenues generated from the sale of liquor and other spirits in Ohio. When the state’s liquor agency was transferred to JobsOhio, funding for brownfield remediation transferred to JobsOhio.
GOPC recommends the state reprogram funds from:
the JobsOhio Revitalization Program
the returned liquor profits from JobsOhio to the state,
the Abandoned Gas Station Grant Program
These three sources could generate nearly $160 million.
Expand the Sales Tax
Over the past two decades, Ohio, like many other states, has shifted towards a more consumption-based economy. Policymakers on both sides of the political aisle have advanced policies that reflect this new economic reality—policies which include the expansion of the state sales tax base to cover discretionary services, and not just tangible products.
GOPC recommends that policymakers consider expansion of the state sales tax to include additional services not currently subject to the state sales tax. Expansion of the state sales tax to cover discretionary services that could be considered to be “luxuries,” have the potential of generating as much as $53.7 million on average a year.
Eliminate Certain Tax Expenditures
Tax expenditures are exemptions for specific goods or services written into state law. The current state tax expenditure report provides estimates for 129 different expenditures, some of which have been in place for 80 years or more. All of the exemptions have been adopted by the state legislature to serve a specific public purpose, although the appropriateness of some expenditures may have diminished as Ohio’s economy has evolved.
Altogether, these tax expenditures account for more that $9.4 billion in revenue foregone in the 2019 state fiscal year; revenue which would otherwise have been deposited into the state GRF budget. GOPC holds the position that sunset provisions should be written into all of the state’s tax expenditures so they can be periodically reviewed by the legislature to assess their continued usefulness.