Senate passes bill encouraging investment in economically disadvantaged areas

COLUMBUS — State Senator Frank Hoagland this week announced the Senate’s unanimous passage of legislation aimed at bolstering job growth and economic development in economically disadvantaged areas, or federally-designated “opportunity zones,” in Ohio.

Senate Bill 8 works in conjunction with the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, allowing states to identify up to 25% of economically-distressed census districts as opportunity zones. Ohio was approved for 320 such zones, some of which are in Southeast Ohio.

However, the federal law did not specify that investments from Ohio need to be made in Ohio, which is the specific issue Senate Bill 8 addresses. The legislation adds an additional Ohio tax advantage to encourage investments in an Opportunity Zone Fund that will be used exclusively in state.

“By incentivizing new investments in our local opportunity zones, we are going to generate new economic development opportunities and job creation in the areas that need it most,” said Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction, who co-sponsored the legislation. “I look forward to seeing the positive impact this legislation has on people’s lives in these areas of our community.”

More information and an interactive map released by the Ohio Development Services Agency can be found at

Senate Bill 8 now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration. For more about the bill, visit