Incentive Programs

City of St. Marys Incentive Programs

The City of St. Marys has established several incentive programs to help businesses. These programs follow both state and local guidelines that will offer assistance to existing and new business.

Community Reinvestment Area Program (CRA)

The CRA is an area in which property owners can receive real estate tax incentives by investing in improvements to their real estate. St. Marys has a large area of the corporation limit designated as a Community Reinvestment Area. The program allows eligible projects to receive 100% tax abatement for a period of 10 years.

Enterprise Zone Tax Abatement Program

The entire corporation limit of the City of St. Marys is included in the Enterprise Zone. The Enterprise Zone is used for industrial projects and provides variable tax abatements for eligible projects.

Revolving Loan Fund

The City of St. Marys offers a low interest Revolving Loan Fund administered locally to be used for gap financing in conjunction with private lenders for either new or expanding qualified business. Project loans can assist financing up to 40% of a project’s cost with a maximum of $25,000/per job created. Interest rates are determined on a project by project basis with a rate typically fixed below current market rates.

In addition to local incentives, other programs are offered on both a regional and statewide basis to assist existing businesses to grow and help establish new business. A summary of several of the incentives is included below.


The 166 Direct Loan provides loans for land and building acquisition, construction, expansion, or renovation, and equipment purchases for eligible businesses. The program provides low interest loans up to 40 percent not to exceed $1.5 million.

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The Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund provides revenue bond financing through an S&P rated fund, whereby proceeds from the sale of bonds are loaned to companies for fixed-rate, long-term capital asset financing. Rates are market-driven and fixed prior to funding.  Loan terms range between 7 to 10 years for equipment and 15 to 20 years for real estate. Up to $10 million in financing is available through the program.

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Direct loan financing of between $500,000 and $5 million is available for projects primarily engaging in research and development activity. Rates are fixed with terms similar to those of commercial bank financing. Companies receive a dollar-for-dollar, nonrefundable Ohio commercial activity tax credit for principal and interest payments up to $150,000 during the term of the loan.


A refundable tax credit to companies generally creating at least 10 new full-time jobs (within 3 years) in Ohio with a minimum annual payroll of $660,000. The credit may also be available for certain high-wage industries creating 10 or more new full-time jobs within three years. The refundable tax credit is measured as a percentage of the state income tax withholdings for all new employees hired under the program, and is applied toward the company’s commercial activity tax liability. Should the amount of the credit exceed the company’s Commercial Activity Tax liability for any given year, the difference is refunded. Approved projects generally range between a 25 and 55 percent credit for a period of five to seven years. The business must apply for the credit before committing to the project.


The Research and Development Investment Tax Credit is a non-refundable Ohio commercial activity tax credit for all investment in qualified research expenses incurred in Ohio. Qualified research expenses include expenses for both in-house and contract research expenses. The amount of the credit is based on 7 percent of the amount of all qualified investment in a specific year. The credit can be carried forward for up to seven years.