Enterprise Zone

The Wadsworth Enterprise Zone (EZ) has been created to serve as a business expansion, redevelopment and recruitment incentive. In the recent past, Wadsworth experienced a high rate of residential growth; and, that is likely to continue. The EZ incentive will serve as an additional economic development tool to help balance industrial and commercial projects with residential growth. These projects generate more tax revenue than residential developments of the same size, with less impact to City services and the local schools.

This increased industrial and commercial growth will help provide a more balanced community benefiting the Wadsworth City School District and the City of Wadsworth and, ultimately, benefiting all Wadsworth residents. Industrial and commercial expansion creates additional real and personal property taxes for the Schools and the County and increases income tax revenues for the City. Having commercial entities make up a larger percentage of the tax base permits the Schools to ask for lower millage to generate the same amount of tax revenue.

The Wadsworth Enterprise Zone will be administered in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code.

Location

The Enterprise Zone includes all property within the corporate boundaries of the City of Wadsworth as of November 16, 2004.

Incentives and School Board Notification

The Enterprise Zone incentive enables the City to abate both real and personal property taxes. A business may be awarded up to a 10 year and 75% tax abatement with a 14 day notification of the School District. For a business to receive up to a 15 year term and 100% abatement, the School District must receive 45 business day notifications. To grant an abatement beyond the 10 year and/or 75% thresholds, school board approval is required.

Community Reinvestment Areas (CRA)

Wadsworth's existing Community Reinvestment Areas are also part of the Wadsworth Enterprise Zone. A company wishing to receive a tax abatement within the CRA will need to apply for either CRA or EZ benefits. No project will be eligible to receive tax abatements from more than one of these programs.

Eligible Projects

To be eligible, a project must be industrial or commercial and create or retain at least five full-time jobs and meet one of the following conditions:

  • A new business making an investment of at least $100,000.00 in land, buildings, machinery, or equipment.
  • Expansion of an existing business with the new investment equal to at least 10% of the existing facility's value.
  • Renovation of an existing business facility with the investment exceeding 50% of the facility's value.
  • Occupying a vacant business facility and investing at least 20% of the facility's value to alter or repair the facility.

Facility value is determined by the County Auditor's tax duplicate.

Retail businesses are not eligible projects for Enterprise Zone tax abatement.

Negotiating Team and Negotiations

The negotiating team will consist of the following or their designee:

  • Superintendent, Wadsworth City Schools
  • Executive Director, Medina County Economic Development Corporation
  • Enterprise Zone Manager, City of Wadsworth

This group will meet with the requesting company's representatives as soon as possible after receiving formal application for an EZ Agreement. The terms of the agreement will be negotiated after it is determined the project request meets the eligible project criteria. After the terms are negotiated, the School District will receive formal notification of the proposed Enterprise Zone agreement.

Tax Incentive Review Council (TIRC)

The Tax Incentive Review Council will be made up of the following:

  • Enterprise Zone Manager, City of Wadsworth
  • Two members appointed by the Mayor and approved by Wadsworth City Council
  • One member appointed by the Wadsworth City Schools Board of Education
  • Three members appointed by the Medina County Commissioners
  • The County Auditor or designee

The TIRC will evaluate each EZ agreement annually to assure compliance and make recommendations to the granting authority as to whether each agreement should be continued, modified or terminated. The EZ Manager will submit the annual report to the Ohio Department of Development following the review by March 31st of each year.

For more information, please feel free to contact Harry Stark via email or 330-335-2707.