State Representatives Nan Baker (R-Westlake) recently offered sponsor testimony in the House Ways & Means Committee in support of House Bill 18. The legislation, if enacted, would encourage Ohio businesses that are planning to increase their payroll to expand into vacant property by enacting a nonrefundable tax credit.

“House Bill 18 is designed to encourage businesses to expand into areas that have been losing companies, jobs and prosperity,” said Baker. “The mass exodus of large and small corporations from Ohio has left behind abandoned and vacant buildings dotting urban, suburban and rural landscapes. New and expanding companies could revitalize these buildings and use them when they decide to increase their workforce.”

The idea of the legislation was brought to the attention of Rep. Baker by a constituent, David Greenspan, who was recently elected to Cuyahoga County Council, representing District 1. It aims to encourage economic growth in areas that have previously lost business by giving businesses an incentive to use existing facilities rather than build new ones.

“By looking for buildings where businesses have left, companies will be entering economies full of citizens that need jobs and are ready to work,” said Baker. “Areas with high percentages of vacant properties are also areas that have high unemployment rates. Companies expanding into these areas can revitalize the communities and make the local economy more enticing for further business growth, as well.”


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