Through early December, progress continued on the Neighborhood Infrastructure Assistance Program legislation with proponent testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee. As discussed in earlier blog posts, Senate Bill 149 and House Bill 219 propose to create a program that would offer a tax credit to businesses that make monetary donations to catalytic community development projects.
At the second hearing on November 20th GOPC provided testimony in partnership with coalition member Ohio CDC Association and explained the design specifics of the program and discussed successes other states have experienced with similar programs. At the third House Ways and Means Committee hearing on December 4th, testimony was given from varying perspectives. Taris Vrcek, Executive Director of McKees Rocks CDC in Pennsylvania relayed a compelling story of decades long disinvestment in this first ring suburb of Pittsburgh (and Governor Kasich's hometown) reversed by Neighborhood Partnership Program tax credits that resulted in the renovation of the historic Roxian Theatre, brownfield remediation and central business district revitalization.
Tim Bete, President, St. Mary Development Corporation described the complexity of development financing, the resource contraction facing the industry, the catalytic impacts of community economic development projects, and the desire for NIAP funding in Ohio. Mike Gonsiorowski, Regional President of PNC Bank in Columbus provided written testimony explaining their many years of experience participating in similar tax credit programs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The proponent testimonies significantly contributed to the momentum and energy around this proposed program. The General Assembly is on holiday break and the effort will continue in the New Year. The coalition greatly appreciates the commitment and travels of the testimony team.
For background information and written testimony on the Neighborhood Infrastructure Assistance Program, please click here.