Ohio’s Opportunity Zone Program received another boost thanks to Ohio’s Budget Bill that passed on June 30, 2021. The Budget Bill enacted several new initiatives and valuable enhancements to Ohio’s economic development incentive programs – one of which is Ohio’s Opportunity Zone Program. The first improvement to Ohio’s OZ Program is the increase in the amount of Opportunity Zone Tax Credits that may be awarded to each investor per two year cycle – with that limit doubling from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 per person. The second improvement effectively eliminates the cap that previously existed on Opportunity Zone Tax Credit purchases. Our firm is currently working with numerous Clients on OZ engagements and utilize our knowledge on how to best use Opportunity Zone law to your advantage.
Rick Craven was a Moderator of NAIOP of Central Ohio’s presentation on the significant and newly enacted City of Columbus’ Wage and Theft Ordinance focused on its impact on development and CRE within the City.
The Eighth District Court of Appeals affirmed a Trial Court decision that dismissed breach of fiduciary duty claims brought against multiple local commercial real estate professionals, and now the Plaintiffs have asked the Ohio Supreme Court to hear the case. See Tuttle v. Collins, 2020-Ohio-4062.
The facts of Tuttle begin in 2012, when the Dunhum Tavern Museum (“DTM”) acquired 2.28 acres of land (“Midtown Land”) in furtherance of DTM’s mission. DTM is a non-for-profit corporation whose mission is to maintain, develop, and share the DTM campus for educational and cultural purposes; provide urban green space in Midtown Cleveland; and return the DTM to its roots by serving as a place for urban history, education, nature, and community. Thereafter, DTM raised over $700,000 to be invested into the the Midtown Land.
In 2018, the Cleveland Foundation expressed an interest in purchasing 1.2 acres of the Midtown Land for its new headquarters. David Wagner (“Wagner”) and the husband of another board member obtained an appraisal and attempted to have DTM move forward with the sale, which was opposed by 26 members of DTM. Nonetheless, two separate votes by DTM’s Board went forward, and both votes resulted in the approval of the sale of a portion of the Midtown Land to the Cleveland Foundation.
In May of 2019, Appellants filed a lawsuit naming Tim Collins (“Collins”) and Wagner as Defendants, asserting claims of breach of fiduciary duty, violating bylaws relating to conflicts of interest, and violating bylaws relating to voting procedures.
The Trial Court found that the Appellants’ allegations were merely conjecture and supposition, and that they lacked any factual basis. Ohio’s Eighth District Court of Appeals concluded that the Complaint failed to provide sufficient facts to support the elements of the claims, and affirmed the Trial Court’s dismissal of the case. To review the Court of Appeals’ Decision, click here.
Had that case gone the other way, it really could have created a slippery slope and dangerous precedent for all sorts of claims to be brought against commercial real estate professionals – especially those who serve on boards. Thankfully, the Trial Court and the Court of Appeals reached the correct conclusion.
Sikora Law’s Clients (40 successful applicants) were awarded approximately 20% of the $30,000,000 Ohio Opportunity Zone tax credits issued for 2019 investments in Ohio Opportunity Zones, a figure that we believe exceeds any firm in the state.
In 2019 Mike worked closely with the Senator who sponsored the Bill that became Ohio’s Opportunity Zone law as well as provided expert testimony on behalf of NAIOP to the Ohio General Assembly in support of the passage of that Bill. These efforts have resulted in one of the most beneficial Opportunity Zone tax credit programs in the country.
Sikora Law utilized its expertise and unique perspective on this new law to maximize the financial benefits of this fantastic new program for our Clients. If you are considering an Opportunity Zone investment, or if you have questions about how you can make the most of Ohio’s Opportunity Zone program, contact the Sikora Law Team.
Sikora Law LLC is pleased to announce that its newest attorney, Stephen Slawinski, has passed the Ohio Bar Examination and was sworn-in as an Ohio Attorney on May 8, 2020. Stephen will handle deal syndications and transactional matters for our real estate company Clients from our Downtown Columbus office.
Check out the article in Properties Magazine written by Mike Sikora regarding Commercial Real Estate and COVID-19.
Check out the article in Court News Ohio titled Sound Foundations wherein our very own attorney, George Carr is interviewed.
Ohio House Bill 251 would shorten the statute of limitations for actions upon a contract, and it recently had a second Hearing in the Senate after passing in the House. Ohio’s statute of limitations for breach of written contracts was significantly reduced from 15 years to 8 years in 2012 – not that long ago, when it comes to legislative action. House Bill 251 would further reduce to 6 years the statute of limitations for breach of written contracts. To review the latest version of House Bill 251, click here.
Sikora Law LLC is proud to announce that Michael Neiman has accepted our offer to join our team! Mike has been an intern with the firm in our central office while attending law school and will be taking the bar exam this August. We are looking forward to him joining our team.