Ohio Releases Process for Nominating QO Zones– February 21, 2018 by Angel Rice

As a follow-up to our recent blog on Qualified Opportunity Zones (QO Zones), Ohio has provided specific guidance on how the nomination of qualified census tracts will work. This is important information for real estate developers who have, or who may want to consider, a project in an eligible census tract and therefore may want to nominate it as a QO Zone by the March 2, 2018, deadline. This is also important for economic development agencies to consider, should they have available sites that could qualify as QO Zones.
Ohio’s new web page dedicated to QO Zones allows interested parties to nominate the tracts they feel should be awarded the QO Zone designation. Here are the “rules” for the online process: 

  • An unlimited number of nominations is allowed; however, along with your nomination you must provide a ranking among your submissions to help prioritize and narrow down the field.
  • A narrative will need to be provided regarding the current or committed economic activity within the tract.
  • Online submissions will be accepted through 4 p.m., Friday March 2, 2018. 

After the deadline, all submissions will be taken into consideration for a final list to be presented to the governor. Below are two important links if you are interested in nominating an area for consideration: 

  • Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) has published a map that currently shows each of the census tracts that would qualify for the QO designation. View the map.  
  • Complete your online submission at the ODSA special web page.

While this program looks to be very promising, there still is a lot of guidance that will need to be issued to determine exactly how the program will work, and other states will need to weigh in on their processes and procedures as well. Check the CDFI Fund’s website for a national map of qualified census tracts.
If you currently have a project planned in a census tract that is eligible for designation, or if you believe that you may have a project in the future that would be located in an eligible census tract, we strongly encourage you to submit a nomination to designate that tract as a QO Zone.
Please contact Angel Rice at arice@cohencpa.com for further discussion.

Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Information contained in this post is considered accurate as of the date of publishing. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts, circumstances and current law.