Belmont County’s Enterprise Zone (EZ)
The Belmont County Port Authority serves as the county’s Enterprise Zone Manager. The Enterprise Zone program provides local and state tax incentives for businesses that expand or locate in designated areas of Ohio. A business must finalize an Enterprise Zone Agreement prior to the project initiation, agree to retain or create full-time, permanent employment, and establish, expand, renovate or occupy a facility. Substantial tax reductions on new real estate investment and potentially franchise or state income tax benefits can be realized. Up to 60% exemption on real estate property tax valuation for up to 10 years is possible. Local school board approval is required for exemptions that exceed 60% and 10 year limits.
Belmont County’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)
This loan provides for fixed assets related to commercial, industrial, or infrastructure needs. The RLF must create or retain full-time, permanent jobs and help develop, rehabilitate, or revitalize an area. Fifty-one percent of all jobs created or retained must be for low-to-moderate income households. Federal prevailing wage rates may apply. Loan ceiling is determined locally and by availability. Typically, the RLF has a 3-4% fixed interest rate (or one point below prime) over a 10-year period; however, terms may be flexible. This loan is to be used as “gap” financing only.