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Cleveland City Council passes new tax abatement program

House in Cleveland
Posted at 3:34 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 15:34:37-04

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland City Council passed a new property tax abatement policy during a special meeting on Wednesday.

According to the new policy, the level of property tax abatement offered to qualifying projects would be tied to the general health of the surrounding market. The proposed legislation denotes three market classifications; market rate, the strongest of the three designations where less abatement is needed; middle markets, which require a higher level of abatement but are moderately healthy and, lastly, opportunity markets which require a full 100% abatement.

“From the beginning of this discussion several years ago, City Council signaled that we didn’t want to continue the one-size-fits-all program,” said Council President Blaine A. Griffin. “Residential tax abatement should promote equity and push investment into neighborhoods that haven’t seen much development.

Council spent hours going over and amending the legislation.

“We didn’t agree on how some areas were labeled, so we made amendments to ensure those areas are fairly treated,” said Councilman Anthony Hairston.

According to council, the goal of the policy is to establish equity in the new housing market and attract development or renovation in areas where there are more demolitions than new housing projects.

The policy will also require developers of apartment buildings to either set aside affordable units or contribute to a housing trust fund which will be used to incentivize equitable housing in other projects.

The new policy begins on Dec. 31, 2023.

RELATED: Proposed changes to Cleveland's tax abatement program aim to increase equity in new investment