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Cleveland may consider alternative programs instead of tax abatements for new developments

Cleveland city hall
Posted at 6:00 PM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 18:01:07-04

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Next week, Cleveland City Council could vote to allow the Director of Community Development to apply for and accept a grant that would undertake a study to re-evaluate the city’s current property tax policy and tax abatement program by comparing it with other possible alternatives.

If passed, the ordinance would allow the city to move forward with a planned study that could see certain tax breaks eliminated in favor of more strategic and equitable options if they are found, according to city documents.

The current tax abatement program rewards developers by forgiving increases in real estate taxes that occur as a result to property improvements. Those abatements allow forgiveness on taxes for up to 15 years on both new construction and housing rehabilitation.

The study would take a look at the city’s housing market and identity possible new strategies for tax incentives.

It would also take a look at how Cleveland could draw in new residents to prosperous areas such as University Circle and Ohio City as they are re-developed, but at the same time prevent current long-term residents from being displaced as their property values rise.

Last year, News 5 spoke to Cleveland residents who were shocked when they discovered their property values had, in some cases, more than doubled—which could lead to a massive tax bill.

The ordinance is on council's May 6 agenda.

RELATED: Residents are shocked after Cuyahoga County drastically increases home values