Ohio awards preservation credits, other program may be cut


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio has announced awards of nearly $23 million in tax credits to help rehabilitate 33 historic buildings, though another special state tax-credit program for huge preservation projects may be on the chopping block.

The Ohio Development Services Agency announced Tuesday the latest round of tax credits is expected to bring about $225 million in private investment in a dozen communities.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers have approved legislation eliminating a historic tax-credit that occasionally awards $25 million for large investments with the biggest economic impact. It’s now up to Republican Gov. John Kasich to sign off on the move or veto it.

The legislation stipulates that the two past finalists for the award receive up to $25 million in tax credits before the program is eliminated. Those are the May Co. building in downtown Cleveland and the former Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. headquarters in Akron, The Plain Dealer reported.

The first tax credit for a large investment was awarded in 2014 for the restoration of Cincinnati Music Hall. A year ago, another one went toward the makeover of the former Huntington Building in downtown Cleveland.

Ohio gives out about $60 million in historic preservation tax credits each year. Each is limited to $5 million per project, except for the few large investment awards.

The latest round of tax credits included a $5 million preservation credit for a project to create offices, retail space and apartments in downtown Cleveland at a former department store, the Halle Building. Other projects also are in Cleveland as well as Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Delaware, Hamilton, Kent, Lima, Newark, Sandusky, Tiffin and Xenia.

Developers won’t receive the credits until they finish the projects and meet certain program requirements.

Senators last year scrapped a plan to freeze all tax credits for historic preservation work for two years. The idea was abandoned amid concerns that the proposal could stop some significant restoration projects around the state.