Greater Ohio Policy Center's January 2017 Newsletter
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Greater Ohio Newsletter. Photo by Erik Drost.

GOPC's Advocacy Results in New Tool for Incentivizing Property Redevelopment


Prior to Governor Kasich signing HB463 earlier this month, redevelopment real estate projects, such as retrofitting a warehouse for housing and retail, were only eligible for a 12-year tax exemption in designated community reinvestment areas.  In contrast, new developments, which typically occur in greenfields, were eligible for a 15-year exemption in designated community reinvestment areas. 

GOPC worked with Rep. Dever (R-Madiera) to amend this language so that redevelopment activities may now receive property tax exemptions for up to 15 years.  This change will allow redevelopment sites in existing neighborhoods and greenfield sites to compete on equal footing for a development project.

GOPC extends its gratitude and thanks to Rep. Dever for championing this important provision that will be especially helpful for Ohio’s legacy cities. 

 


GOPC Begins Implementation Phase of Water Infrastructure Project

The Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) is beginning a new phase in its water infrastructure financing work, releasing a new report with recommendations that will guide our advocacy with state agencies and during the upcoming state budget process. With water user charges in Ohio increasing faster than the rate of inflation over the last 15 years, and systems facing billions of dollars in needed investment, GOPC's Strengthening Ohio’s Water Infrastructure: Financing and Policy Report examines how state leadership can promote new ways of doing business in the water utility sector in order to increase long-run financial sustainability. 

                   

GOPC will be pursuing the following policy recommendations:

  • Increase incentives for regional coordination and consolidation of small drinking water and wastewater systems
     
  • Increase financial incentives for Asset Management Programs by small systems
     
  • Couple asset management plans with improved statewide data collection on key utility performance benchmarking statistics
     
  • Provide the OWDA or Ohio EPA with additional state funds to help keep affordability within acceptable bounds
     
  • Utilize new technology to save energy costs in treatment systems, which can also help to change the financial equation
     
  • Enact a public-private partnership (P3) statute for water sector projects that contains safeguards for accountability, transparency, and standardized procedures, including opportunities for public input

Go here to access the Report and here for GOPC's Water Infrastructure Resource Page

Our advocacy in 2017 builds on our Phase I Gap Assessment report, released in November 2015, and our Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Control Analysis, released in March 2016.
 

Register Today to Hear GOPC Summit Keynote Speaker: Tom Murphy, Urban Revitalization Expert 


GOPC is thrilled to announce that our 2017 Summit Keynote Speaker is Tom Murphy, Urban Land Institute Canizaro/Klingbeil Families Chair for Urban Development. Murphy served as Mayor of Pittsburgh from 1994 to 2005, and became a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute in 2006.
 
      
Former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy. Photo credit: Urban Land Institute. 

While mayor of Pittsburgh, Murphy initiated a public-private partnership strategy that leveraged more than $4.5 billion in economic development in the city, transformed more than 1,000 acres of blighted, abandoned industrial properties for new uses, and oversaw the development of more than 25 miles of new riverfront trails and parks. 

Murphy also served eight terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and is the author of numerous reports that document how communities can leverage limited public resources for dramatic change.
 
Drawing on his extensive experience in urban revitalization, Murphy will discuss strategies and policies that successfully drive investment and long-lasting impact in weak-market cities of all sizes.
 


Register today for GOPC's 2017 Summit, Investing in Ohio's Future: Maximizing Growth in our Cities and Regions will take place March 7th and 8th, 2017 at the Westin Hotel in downtown Columbus.

We look forward to seeing you there!

GOPC Updates Analysis on Challenges Facing Ohio’s Smaller Legacy Cities; Presents Findings at Columbus Metropolitan Club 

GOPC has released an update to its 2016 report From Akron to Zanesville: How Are Ohio’s Small and Mid-Sized Legacy Cities Faring? Newly released 2015 data confirms the general downward trajectory of many key economic indicators in these communities.

As part of GOPC’s recently launched smaller legacy city initiative, Executive Director, Alison D. Goebel, discussed the new data and GOPC’s policy recommendations at a recent Columbus Metropolitan Club forum, Big City Problems in Ohio’s Small Towns. During the panel, Goebel outlined ongoing challenges that Ohio’s smaller legacy cities face, such as economic and population decline and emphasized the importance of local civic capacity and the need to invest in both people and place-based assets.


GOPC’s Executive Director Alison Goebel (right) speaking at the Columbus Metropolitan Club about recent data on smaller legacy cities and strategies for regrowth.

If you missed the CMC forum, a Video of the whole event is available on CMC’s YouTube channel.
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