All Things Business

Ohio Senate Passes Legislation To Bolster Federal Opportunity Zones, Including In Mansfield

13 Apr , 2019  

Senate President Larry Obhof recently announced that the Ohio Senate has passed legislation aimed at bolstering job growth and economic development in economically disadvantaged areas, or federally-designated “opportunity zones,” in Ohio.

Senate Bill 8, which passed the Senate unanimously Wednesday, works in conjunction with the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, allowing states to identify up to 25% of economically-distressed census districts as opportunity zones. Ohio was approved for 320 such zones, some of which are in Richland, Medina, Wayne and Holmes counties.

The census tracts in Richland County are located in downtown Mansfield and surrounding neighborhoods (see map). For more information on the federal program, you can read our March, 2018 story here.

However, the federal law did not specify that investments from Ohio need to be made in Ohio, which is the specific issue Senate Bill 8 addresses. The legislation passed today adds an additional Ohio tax advantage to encourage investments in an Opportunity Zone Fund that will be used exclusively in state.

“There is no doubt opportunity zones in our area would stand to benefit from the additional investment and development permitted by this legislation,” said Obhof, who co-sponsored the bill. “Senate Bill 8 will incentivize investments in these areas in order to foster new development, job creation and improved local tax revenue.”

More information and an interactive map released by the Ohio Development Services Agency can be found at

Senate Bill 8 now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration. For more about the bill, visit

Photo: Ohio Development Services Agency

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