COLUMBUS – Ohio’s farmers will soon reap substantial savings through lowered borrowing costs thanks to House Bill 440, legislation jointly sponsored by State Representatives Andrea White (R-Kettering) and DJ Swearingen (R-Huron) and signed into law today by Governor Mike DeWine.
“Farmers play such a vital role in our food supply and represent Ohio’s largest industry. They invest hundreds of thousands of dollars each year just to get their crops in the field and keep them growing,” said White. “HB 440 helps our farmers by allowing them to borrow more money at a reduced interest rate, yielding thousands of dollars in savings each year. These savings in turn will translate into benefits for all Ohioans as we help hold the line on increasing costs.”
White and Swearingen spearheaded the “Ohio Gains” initiative with the help of State Treasurer Robert Sprague. The legislation implements investment reforms to support not only the agriculture community, but also health systems and institutions of higher education.
The Treasurer’s Ag-LINK Deposit Program provides farmers with interest rate reductions on new or existing loans for seed, feed, fertilizer, fuel, equipment, and other costs. Previously, Ag-LINK loans were capped at $150,000 per year. The new law eliminates that loan cap and expands the program to include agricultural co-ops.
HB 440 also helps hospitals and universities reduce expenses by lowering their borrowing costs. The legislation allows the State Treasury to step in as a hospital’s liquidity provider so the hospital system can use its Variable Rate Demand Obligation to finance capital improvement projects. In return, the hospital will save money on their loan repayment. Additionally, public universities can now enhance their credit rating by leveraging their State Share of Instruction when debt is issued to the State Treasury. This translates into significant interest savings and helps hold the line on college costs.
“The Ohio Treasurer manages a $20 billion dollar treasury – that’s our tax dollars that we need to put to work FOR Ohio and keep IN Ohio as much as possible,” White said. “Through Ohio Gains, we’ll keep more of Ohio’s treasury dollars in our state – generating higher investment returns while lowering the borrowing costs for our farmers, hospitals and universities. “
To learn more about the Ag-LINK Deposit program or to apply for a loan, please visit https://tos.ohio.gov/ag-link.