Commissioners from four local counties — Defiance, Fulton, Henry and Paulding — have decided to cancel their cooperative agreement with the Regional Port Authority of Northwest Ohio.
The local entity was created in 2008 by commissioners from all those counties as a way to leverage funding for economic development projects. Port authorities have the ability to own and lease land as well as borrow money, and don’t have to pay Ohio state sales tax.
The problem now is that the Regional Port Authority of Northwest Ohio has no loan reserves, which makes operation all but impossible.
Now, the local counties have decided to associate themselves with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, which has been operating for decades and has a strong reserve fund. Local leaders say the association will now make it easier to sell bonds in the public market.