Timeline of events in Widener backing legislation

2002: Ohio Equine and Agricultural Association, Inc. is formed.

November 2003: Ohio Equine signs a 99-year lease with Clark County for 17 acres at the fairgrounds and begins constructing the Champions Center.

2004: The Champions Center opens.

Feb 2005: Ohio Equine applies for exemption from property taxes at the Champions Center.

2006: Turner Foundation gives Ohio Equine a $549,600 grant.

July 2006: Ohio Department of Taxation dismisses the application since only land owners may apply.

March 2008: Widener votes in favor of the final version of House Bill 160.

June 2008: Law change in House Bill 160 takes effect, allowing long-term leaseholders to apply for exemption.

March 2009: Ohio Equine appeals the application dismissal to the state Board of Taxation

April 2009: Clark County leaders ask lawmakers for legislation to allow for a bed tax to generate revenue.

May 1, 2009: Widener resigns from Ohio Equine and says he is excused from the bank loan guarantee.

June 2, 2009: Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Widener, approves a state budget bill that includes Widener-sponsored amendment that allows the creation of the bed tax.

July 2009: Board of Taxation dismisses Ohio Equine’s appeal to reconsider the application for tax exemption.

Fall 2009: Clark County Convention Facilities Authority decides to levy a 3 percent bed tax. Ohio Equine eventually receives $412,890 of the bed tax revenue.

October 2010: State Rep. Ross McGregor asks Ohio Department of Taxation to help sort out the tax bill confusion at the Champions Center.

December 2010: Ohio Equine applies again for tax exemption.

June 2011: Ohio Department of Taxation grants exemption and forgives tax bills for 2007-2010 but requires that outstanding taxes for 2004-2006 be paid.

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