Ohio has the potential to bring millions of dollars in additional investment, enhance job growth, and foster economic development through the renewed investment in brownfield redevelopment. To unlock this economic potential, GOPC and partners recognize the need for the return of a statewide investment in brownfields redevelopment. The Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund (CORF) was highly successful, providing the state with a four-to-one economic return. CORF is recognized as a community-responsive tool for brownfield redevelopment efforts.
Therefore, public and private stakeholders agree that providing CORF with a dedicated funding source is the most logical solution to addressing the brownfield remediation need in Ohio’s communities.
GOPC’s Established Dedicated Funding Source for CORF
The excess liquor profits returned to the state from JobsOhio [per ORC 4313.02(B)].
Per 4313.02(B) of the Ohio Revised Code, excess liquor profits returned to the state can be allocated to fund CORF. In 2018, $36.8 was returned to the state’s GRF. Projections have this dollar amount increasing to more than $44M though FY21. Since CORF was originally backed by the state liquor profits, it is fitting this dedicated funding source be allocated to CORF.
Per the Ohio Revised Code, the excess liquor profits returned to the state can: 1) pay off bonding debts from the last bondage of CORF and transfer of the liquor enterprise to JobsOhio; 2) fund the GRF; or 3) fund the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund. The bonding debt has been repaid, and since JobsOhio’s creation, the monies have been deposited into the GRF. GOPC recommends the excess liquor profits be allocated to fund CORF.
Background on CORF
Between 2002 and 2013, Ohio invested in the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund (CORF) – a dedicated brownfield redevelopment program in the state. CORF’s funding ended when JobsOhio was created and funded through the state liquor profits.
CORF was highly successfully, with a more than 4:1 economic return to the state, and an annual GDP contribution averaging more than $1 billion.
CORF still exists in Ohio law, but has not been funded since 2013.
CORF would be flexible, sustainable, and complementary to existing environmental remediation programs at the state and federal levels – filling a necessary gap in brownfields funding.
Current state and federal programs have highly competitive application processes, restrictive site types and uses, and oftentimes only offer loans. This makes it difficult for weak-market and older communities to effectively compete for funding and utilize it for their identified needs.