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JobsOhio benefits Columbus, property tax return could grow, museum levy gets conditions

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Ohio Statehouse
Ohio Statehouse

JobsOhio, the state-funded privatized development agency,

grants more tax credits around Columbus

, the state capital, than anywhere else in the state. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer , the discrepancy might be driven by Columbus’ high growth rate and the city’s proximity to the state government, which could make Columbus officials more aware of tax-credit opportunities. But Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann also blames local governments in southwest Ohio for failing to act in unison with a concerted economic plan to bring in more tax credits and jobs.

Hartmann today

plans to introduce a partial restoration of the property tax return

that voters were promised when they approved a half-cent sales tax hike to build Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium. The return was reduced when there wasn’t enough money in the sales tax fund to pay for the stadiums last year, but there might be enough money now to give property taxpayers more of their money back. It was unclear as of Sunday how much money someone with a $100,000 home would get back under Hartmann’s plan.

Hamilton County’s Tax Levy Review Committee will recommend a tax levy for the Cincinnati Museum Center

only if a few conditions are met

, including transfer of ownership of the Union Terminal from the city to a new, to-be-formed entity and allocation of public and private funds to renovate and upkeep the terminal in a sustainable fashion.

City Council last week

asked the city administration

to find and allocate $30,000 for the winter shelter, which would put the shelter closer to the $75,000 it needs to remain open between mid-to-late December and February. The shelter currently estimates it’s at approximately $32,000, according to Josh Spring, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. The city administration now needs to locate the money and turn the transaction into an ordinance that needs City Council approval and would make the allocation of funds official. To contribute to the winter shelter, go to

tinyurl.com/WinterShelterCincinnati

and type in “winter shelter” in the text box below “Designation (Optional)” before making a donation.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin announced Thursday that it

plans to cut about 500 jobs

in Akron, Ohio. State officials were apparently aware of the plan in October but underestimated how quickly Lockheed Martin would carry out the cuts. Ohio Democrats jumped on the opportunity to mock JobsOhio for failing to move at the “speed of business,” as Republicans claim only the privatized development agency can, to develop an incentive package that could have kept Lockheed Martin in Akron. But state officials say they were led to believe Lockheed Martin’s move would take months longer.

Intense storms and tornadoes

swept across the Midwest

over the weekend, killing at least six.

Ohio

has issued a record-breaking amount of concealed-weapons licenses

this year. The state issued 82,000 licenses in the first nine months of 2013, more than the 64,000 in 2012 that set the previous record. About 426,000 permits have been issued since the state began the program in 2004.

This week, Ohio gas prices

jumped back up

but remained lower than the national average.

Popular Science looks at how artificial meat could “

save the world

.”

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