On June 16, 2015, Senators Seitz, Balderson and Patton introduced Senate Bill (S.B.) 185, a bill that would significantly simplify Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing in Ohio. PACE financing allows Ohio property owners to construct special energy improvements on their properties and to pay the costs of the special energy improvement projects by paying special assessments due with their property taxes.

Current Ohio law requires property owners to create or join an Energy Special Improvement District (ESID) in order to use PACE financing. S.B. 185 would significantly simplify the PACE process, allowing property owners to use PACE financing without creating or joining an ESID. Instead, property owners could simply choose to seek the approval of the township or municipal corporation in which the property is located. Under S.B. 185, property owners could still choose to create or join ESIDs, and existing districts would not be affected.

S.B. 185 would also revise Chapter 1710 of the Ohio Revised Code to separate the provisions on PACE financing from the provisions on traditional special improvement districts. Unlike H.B. 72, which was originally introduced as H.B. 676 and is currently pending in the House Public Utilities Committee, S.B. 185 would not authorize port authorities to serve as the primary local government involved in creating ESIDs and would not expand the list of projects eligible for PACE financing.

For more, read the full text of S.B 185.