Port Authorities in Ohio
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The State of Ohio allows its Counties to establish Port
Authorities to accomplish their economic development objectives
pursuant to Sections 4582.201 to 4582 59 of the Ohio Revised Code. A
Port Authority is a separate body corporate and politic governed by
a Board of Directors Jurisdiction is to include all of the areas of
the political subdivision creating it. A Port Authority created
solely by a County may have as many members on the Authority's Board
of Directors as the County deems necessary. Each Director must be
either a qualified elector of the County or have his/her business or
place of employment in the political jurisdiction of the Port
Authority for a least three years preceding appointment.
Port Authorities are given broad statutory powers to participate in
economic development projects. Those powers include the following:
Ability to acquire, construct, enlarge, maintain, sell,
lease, or operate Port Authority facilities.
Ability to make available the use of any Port Authority
facility to one or more persons or businesses.
Ability to issue Port Authority revenue bonds for the purpose of
paying the costs of any Port Authority facilities
Pursuant to Article III, Section 13 of the Ohio Constitution
and pursuant to the purpose of creation or preservation of jobs
and employment opportunities.
Ability to make application in order to establish, operate
and maintain foreign trade zones within the jurisdiction of the
Port Authority and to establish, operate and maintain such
Ability to promote and publicize the Port Authority and its
Ability to acquire by gift or purchase, and to hold, lease
or dispose of real and personal property.
Ability to accept federal grants to aid in the construction
of any Port Authority facility.
Ability to accept aid or contributions including money,
property, labor or other items of value.
Ability to do all activities necessary and proper to carry
out the powers explicitly granted in Sections 4582.21 to 4582.59
of the Ohio Revised Code.
Further, the legislative authority of any municipal corporation,
county, township, school district or other political subdivision may
convey or lease to, or exchange with, any Port Authority, without
competitive bidding, and on mutually agreeable terms, any property
which is not needed for the purposes of the grantor, to be used by
the Port Authority for its purposes.
The statutes also provide that any county creating a Port Authority
may appropriate and expend public funds to finance or subsidize the
operation of the Port Authority.
Section 4582.43, Ohio Revised Code, provides that a county is
permitted to cooperate with the Port Authority in the acquisition or
construction of Port Authority facilities and is authorized to enter
into such agreements, as may be appropriate providing for the
ownership and control of the facilities. Those agreements may
authorize the construction of the facilities by one of the parties
acting as agent for all of the parties, and can provide for the
ownership and control of the facility by the Port Authority.
The county is also authorized to enter into such agreements as may
be appropriate to provide for contributions by the parties in such
proportion as may be agreed upon by the County and the Port
Subject to voter approval, Port Authorities are authorized to levy a
property tax upon the property within its jurisdiction for all it
purposes, including debt service charges, not in excess of one mill
annually, for up to five years. When the tax is for the payment of
debt service charges, it must be for the life of the debt
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