On September 2nd, City Council passed a motion to change the policy to the current Tax Abatement also known as the Community Reinvestment Areas. The tax abatement allows residents and businesses to have a portion of their property taxes abated based on the improved value of their investment into a specific property. Essentially, if you renovate or build a home in the City of Cincinnati, you have the opportunity to pay less in taxes if you follow certain criteria.
Quick disclosure as we get started, this blog post is not meant to give you a step by step guide how to have your taxes abated nor is it the end of your fact finding on changes. I am a real estate agent that focuses on New Construction in Cincinnati, but not an attorney, consultant or expert on the tax abatement policies. I say this to make sure you understand that expert guidance may still be needed if you are making investments or decisions to which the tax abatement may impact..
Anyways, back to the information…the original goal of the tax abatement and the CRA (Community Reinvestment Areas) is to remain intact. If you read through the City’s tax abatement information, you’ll see that the original goal of the CRA was to: 1) stimulate community revitalization, 2) retain City residents, 3) attract homeowners, and 4) reduce development costs of home-ownership and rental projects. To find out more, click here to review the City’s website on the current tax abatement.
Fast forward to today, City Council under Vice Mayor Smitherman has empowered “The Property Tax Working Group” at the end of 2018 was set up to investigate the effects of the CRA and see how they can improve upon it. These are the results of thousands of hours of review by that group and recommendations from a number of parties.
- Tax Abatement Terms and Caps are CHANGING – You can review these by clicking here, but you’ll notice that each of the categories for new construction has gone down. There are also new incentives based on Historic Renovations, Visibility and renovations in general.
- Four Families may be moving from the Commercial tax abatement
requirements to residential, which is highly favorable for owners of multi-families.
- Visibility – This is a term you might not know yet, but soon will. By increasing threshold widths, creating zero step entries, and adding “visitable paths”, you may be able to increase your abated value by $100,000. This can only be done at the planning stage, during design, and could save you around $2500/year. For more information on visibility, click here (https://docplayer.net/
- Tiered Approach Under Consideration – On the final policy change, you may see something along the lines of a tiered neighborhood approach. We’ve heard that they plan to continue to engage in an extensive study to review this option.
- Grandfathering – USGBC and the HBA are talking through the provisions for grandfathering properties to the old Tax Abatement Rules that are in some phase of development. This is still TBD and being discussed, but will most likely be a part of the new ordinance.
- TALK TO YOUR CONSULTANT – It’s more important than ever to talk to your consultant, especially Green Building Consulting, who has been at the forefront of these changes.
We know this motion and policy is NOT set in stone, but it’s important to keep an eye on these changes. We’re lucky to call Paul Yankie of Green Building Consulting a friend, so we’re one call away from understanding where these changes stand. And if you’re considering building or renovation, we encourage you to give his firm or any of the other LEED building consultants in town a call.
Disclosure: Since this information is changing on a daily basis, please consult the City of Cincinnati, a LEED Consultant and/or your builder before you act on any of this information. We can not guarantee any of this for accuracy as it’s based on our interpretation of the Property Tax Working Group and Home Builders Association information.
Want Even More In Depth Information? Visit the City of Cincinnati Site here