ECONOMIC TOOLS

Oklahoma City has several impactful economic tools to facilitate and encourage economic development. These tools include the strategic investment program, the urban renewal authority, tax increment finance districts, the retail incentive policy and Oklahoma City opportunity zones. Developers interested in utilizing these economic tools can contact the Alliance to learn more.

The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City was formed in 2011 to better coordinate land, incentives and economic tools that make Oklahoma City even more attractive to companies and developers. This includes the coordination, management, planning and/or implementation of:

  • The city’s general obligation limited tax bond program

  • Tax increment financing districts

  • The city’s retail strategy and incentives

  • City and urban renewal redevelopment programs

  • Identification and development of job creation sites

  • Public-private redevelopment opportunities

STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROGRAM

GE Global Research

The GE Global Research Oil & Gas Technology Center, designed to advance technology in these industries, selected Oklahoma City over several other large cities in the region heavily involved in the oil and gas industry. A large factor in the selection was an economic incentive package that included SIP. 

 

When the company opened its doors in 2016, it had already invested more than $100 million in the building, equipment and startup costs. Long-term it is estimated to generate $13 million annually in economic impact. 

The Strategic Investment Program is a job-creation incentive program to help recruit jobs and employers. The program helps bring high-quality, high-paying jobs to Oklahoma City, while keeping companies accountable for their performance. 

To qualify:

  • Companies must locate in Oklahoma City

  • Create at least 50 full-time jobs with a new total payroll of at least $1.75 million annually.

  • Average wages for the jobs must meet or exceed the average wage of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area.

  • Firms locating or expanding within an enterprise zone will be given consideration if they pay within 20% of the MSA wages.

  • Employers must also pay at least half the cost of employee health care benefits.

The application process is initiated through the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. 

Funds are allocated on a pay-for-performance basis and are not released until companies prove they have fulfilled job creation requirements. 

URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY

The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority is the leading public redevelopment agency of Oklahoma City. It is empowered through state law with certain financial resources and legal mechanisms.

 

Urban Renewal is charged with the revitalization of the city's urban neighborhoods and the enhancement of its quality of life. The organization is governed by a board of commissioners nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the city council.  Its day-to-day management is contracted to the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.

 

For more information, visit ocura-ok.org.

Page Woodson School

Once a thriving community center, Page Woodson was a segregated school for black students in the 1960s. For the past two decades, the building sat abandoned and neglected. Through OCURA and other economic tools, the school is being revitalized into affordable housing and community performance center.

TAX INCREMENT FINANCING

Skirvin Hilton Hotel

After sitting vacant and deteriorating for decades, the city purchased the hotel in July 2002. The $56.4 million TIF included a mix public and private sources. Today the grand hotel has revenues exceeding $8 million.

Tax increment financing districts are an economic tool to promote development in blighted, underserved, or economically distressed urban areas. TIF helps fund new economic growth that will attract new investors, consumers and employers into the area.

TIF monies can be allocated in two ways:

  • The city can construct public improvements (parking, infrastructure, streetscape, and/or landscaping improvements) on publicly owned land or easements

  • The developer, or redeveloper, can receive an allocation of TIF revenues to fund eligible TIF project costs in the form of “assistance in development financing” upon meeting conditions to the allocation

For more information, contact Joanna McSpadden, the City’s Economic Development Program Manager at joanna.mcspadden@okc.gov or (405) 297-3879.

Learn more about TIF.

For information on TIF, contact Cathy O'Connor, Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, (405) 235-3771.

INCREMENT DISTRICT #8:

Devon World Headquarters Tax Increment District 


INCREMENT DISTRICT #9:
Northeast Renaissance Tax Increment District


INCREMENT DISTRICT #10:
First National Tax Increment District


INCREMENT DISTRICT #11: 
Innovation District 


INCREMENT DISTRICT #12: 
Western Gateway


INCREMENT DISTRICT #13: 
Core to Shore

INCREMENT DISTRICT #1:

Oklahoma Health Center Tax Increment District

INCREMENT DISTRICT #2:

Downtown/MAPS Increment District

INCREMENT DISTRICT #3:

Skirvin Hotel Tax Increment District

INCREMENT DISTRICT #4: 

Oklahoma Riverfront Tax Increment District

INCREMENT DISTRICT #5: 

Oklahoma Riverfront Sales Tax Increment District

INCREMENT DISTRICT #6: 

Las Rosas Residential Tax Increment District

INCREMENT DISTRICT #7:
Oklahoma Bioscience Tax Increment District

RETAIL INCENTIVE POLICY

Oklahoma City is heavily dependent on sales tax to fund core city services. The retail incentive policy promotes the development of regional retail establishments, such as outlet malls along with new to market retailers. In addition, the city policy allows for retail businesses that will serve under served areas. 

For more information contact Tammy Fate with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce at 405 297-8958 or tfate@okcchamber.com.

Whole Foods

Oklahoma City’s strong retail market, low cost of living and its demand for healthy grocery options was a recipe for success. Within the first year of opening, Whole Foods expanded its retail space in order to meet the growing demands of its customers. 

OPPORTUNITY ZONES

Opportunity Zones in Oklahoma City Pic.jpg

What are Opportunity Zones?

In December 2017, a federal bill, also known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, was passed creating an incredible tax break for investors through a new program known as Opportunity Zones. Investors will be allowed to defer their capital gain taxes, as well as permanently excluding taxable income of capital gains from the sale or exchange of an investment in an Opportunity Fund.

Its purpose is to provide tax incentives, as well as temporary tax deferral on capital gains, when investors reinvest these gains in Opportunity Zone funds. In return, this money is used for qualifying census tract communities, also known as Opportunity Zones. If these gains are kept in opportunity funds for more than 10 years, taxes will essentially be eliminated on any additional capital gains.

This bill allowed for the government to pin-point census tract locations that qualify to be Opportunity Zones.  There are 8 Opportunity Zones located in Oklahoma City.

Why invest in Oklahoma City Opportunity Zones?

 

A combination of $2 billion in public investments in quality of life projects, combined with infrastructure investments of $2.4 billion and private investments of another $6 billion make this one of America’s most dynamic and fascinating communities.  The list of reasons you should invest in Oklahoma City is growing - almost as quickly as the list of reasons why people love living here.  In Oklahoma City, we understand that partnership among business, government, EDOs and civic leaders is integral to our success. Let us introduce you to Oklahoma City: a city that has rediscovered its strengths - and redefined itself for the future; and to the economic development partnership that is here to help you create success.  For more information: