In its 2014 report on compliance with state economic development incentives, which was released December 9, 2014, the Ohio Attorney General’s office demonstrates that hard work pays off. The annual report, required under Ohio Revised Code Section 125.112, shows an overall compliance rate of 70.6 percent, a significant improvement from the 54.9 percent reported in 2013. The Ohio Development Services Agency’s continued focus on compliance and on improving its annual report verification process led to this year’s favorable evaluation.

The report focuses on incentives with 2013 closeout dates. Of the 255 awards reviewed, only 75 recipients were found to be noncompliant, representing only 29.4 percent. Significant improvements were seen in the areas of grant compliance (74.4 percent vs. 49.5 percent in 2013) and tax credit compliance (62.4 percent vs. 53.8 percent in 2013).

As the ODSA has found, stronger monitoring identifies issues as they arise and allows stakeholders to address and resolve those issues. The same can be said for businesses that have already received incentives. It is important to be aware of the commitments made under incentive award agreements and to regularly monitor progress toward these commitments. If business conditions change or roadblocks occur that might prevent fulfilling commitments, steps can be taken to proactively negotiate solutions.

Some might say that businesses’ abilities to comply with their incentive award commitments reflect the state of the economy. If this year’s report is an indicator of Ohio’s economy, things must be looking up.