tax policy News Archive
27 February 2013
Governor Kasich's two-year budget plan calls for investing $500 million from Ohio Turnpike-backed bonds by 2015. The governor initially said that 90% of the funds would be spent in northern Ohio, but ODOT Director Jerry Wray called the figure a "foolish expectation." Statehouse Democrats accused the administration of misleading Ohioans and said that the percentages should be specified in the bill. Streetsblog's Angie Schmitt said that the proposal is not good public policy, and U.S. Represenative Tim Ryan called it short-sighted and risky. The Turnpike Commission is preparing to issue the bonds.
The budget includes a provision that would return control of Cleveland Lakefront State Park to the City of Cleveland (PDF) and provide $14 million for the parks. Plain Dealer columnist Mark Naymik said that legislators should embrace the proposal, and an editorial called it a win-win deal.
Proposed changes to state sales tax laws could affect RTA's finances.
23 January 2013
Eight projects in Cuyahoga County were among the 23 recipients of tax credits (PDF) in the ninth round of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. The awards included $5 million for the former East Ohio Building in downtown Cleveland, credits for six projects on Cleveland's near west side, and $3 million for the Beech Street Residence Halls Project in Berea.
Update: Cleveland's Department of Economic Development posted more details about the seven projects in Cleveland.
16 January 2013
Steven Litt of The Plain Dealer looked back at the defeat of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's levy in November, and concluded that "the port's plan and the levy to support it deserve a second chance." A Crain's Cleveland Business editorial spelled out the challenges facing the Port Authority.
In a 6-1 ruling, the Ohio Supreme Court said that it is unconstitutional for the state to use revenues from its commercial activities tax on gasoline for non-highway purposes. The decision reversed a lower court ruling and will shift $140 million per year from the general fund to highway projects. The Akron Beacon Journal cited the decision as an example of the strength of voter-approved constitutional amendments.
19 November 2012
This month's election included the following issues (PDF):
In Summit County, Green residents voted to ban casino gambling and horse racing.
Visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for complete results.
05 November 2012
At a recent City Club panel discussion, outgoing Congressman Steve LaTourette said that he favors raising the gas tax to help meet funding needs for roads and other transportation infrastructure.
Voters on Tuesday will decide Issue 108, a five-year, 0.67 mill tax levy for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. Will Friedman, the Port's CEO, spoke with Mark Naymik of the Plain Dealer and with Fresh Water's Douglas Trattner. He and other stakeholders participated in a Sound of Ideas show on the levy, and he answered questions at the Civic Commons. Editorials in the Plain Dealer and Sun Newspapers endorsed the levy, while Michael D. Roberts criticized it in Cleveland Magazine, Inside Business, and Scene.
18 September 2012
Leaders in North Olmsted are considering legislation that would establish a tax increment financing district for the area around Great Northern Mall. Under the proposal, tax revenue generated by new projects in the district would be used for infrastructure improvements in and around the district.
Update: it would be the first TIF district in North Olmsted.
30 August 2012
Aurora City Council approved a JEDD agreement for the Marketplace at Four Corners development in Bainbridge Township. The Bainbridge Township Trustees approved the agreement in May.
02 August 2012
The board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority voted to place a five-year, 0.67 mill tax levy on the November ballot. The levy would increase a property owner's tax from $3.50 per $100,000 of assessed value to $20 per $100,000 of assessed value. The new funding (PDF) would be used to implement recommendations (PDF) in the strategic plan the port authority adopted last year, including capital improvements to port facilities, a new sediment disposal program, and Cuyahoga River ship channel restoration and slope stabilization. Steven Litt said it is "a credible, well-conceived plan to rethink and rebuild critical pieces of infrastructure on the lakefront and along the river," while Erick Trickey called it "pretty smart political packaging and coalition-building."
29 June 2012
At their Tuesday meeting, Cuyahoga County Council members offered a variety of ideas for investing the County's share of casino tax revenues. Council will continue to discuss the issue.
Update: in an editorial, the Plain Dealer reiterated its support for County Executive FitzGerald's proposal to use the funds to support downtown Cleveland projects.
Update 2: County Council members introduced five different proposals for the money, and another Plain Dealer editorial supported County Executive FitzGerald's suggestion.
31 January 2012
30 December 2011
The Ohio Department of Taxation changed its policies, declaring that properties in the Wetlands Reserve Program no longer qualify as agricultural land for tax purposes. Property owners with land in conservation easements may see higher tax bills.
28 December 2011
04 November 2011
The City of Cleveland may terminate several tax abatements for properties that failed to meet economic development goals, including the Stager-Beckwith Mansion on Euclid Avenue. Meanwhile, Cleveland City Council is considering two pieces of legislation that would expand the City's ability to recoup expenses and fines incurred by negligent property owners.
Update: the Plain Dealer provides more information about the proposed legislation.
06 July 2011
10 June 2011
The budget bills passed by the Ohio House and Senate include an extension of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. Proponents of the program want the $25 million annual ceiling to be increased. A new study from Cleveland State University (PDF) says that the "program is producing a multitude of benefits across the state of Ohio."
The Ohio Department of Development awarded $25.6 million in the second round of the Ohio New Markets Tax Credits, including $2 million to the Cleveland New Markets Investment Fund II. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded $300,033 in Coastal Management Assistance Grants, including $13,545 for Rocky River sub-watershed protection and restoration plans and $21,000 for the Tinkers Creek Watershed Community Engagement Project.
24 May 2011
A new Greater Ohio analysis of Ohio's sales tax patterns and policies concludes that "Ohio's county-based sales tax structure is misaligned with regional shopping trends." It recommends strategies for modernizing the state's taxation system. A short report issued (PDF) by Advance Northeast Ohio puts forward a case for increasing local government collaborations as a method of increasing efficiency.
Update: Crain's Cleveland Business and WKSU reported on the Advance Northeast Ohio report. An Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that communities need more financial support for collaboration initiatives.
21 May 2011
American Greetings notified its employees that it will move its headquarters from Brooklyn to Westlake in 2014. The company plans to build a a 700,000-square-foot complex on a 13-acre site at the southern end of Crocker Park, and is in discussions with the City of Westlake and the Westlake City Schools about a 30-year tax increment financing package. The $100 million development will require about $41 million in infrastructure improvements. Mayor Balbier of Brooklyn said his city made every effort to keep American Greetings, but "can't compete with a wealthy suburb like Westlake."
Update: a Morning Journal editorial said it "should make the entire West Shore region of western Cuyahoga and eastern Lorain counties even more appealing". Roldo Bartimole called it a "big theft of public dollars".
10 May 2011
The two-year budget approved by the Ohio House on Thursday would indefinitely extend the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, capping the annual allocation at $25 million. The Greater Cleveland Partnership supports the provision.
13 April 2011
The City of Avon intends to assess 105 property owners for up to a third of the price of the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. The assessments were not part of the original funding scheme for the interchange, but rising costs have led the City to pursue the assessments. Property owners say that the proposed assessments are unfair, while Mayor Smith counters that they are getting a good deal. Residents opposed to the assessments attended a City Council meeting on Monday and a recent City Council work session.
17 March 2011
Best Buy plans to build a 368,060-square-foot distribution center in Streetsboro. The Streetsboro Board of Education approved an eight-year, 100% tax abatement for the development. Payroll processing company Paychex intends to consolidate its offices in Warrensville Heights and Green at a new site in Boston Heights. The Village and the Hudson School District approved a 10-year, 100% tax abatement.
Update: Best Buy is moving its operations from Glenwillow.
11 March 2011
The Ohio House of Representatives approved a two-year state transportation budget. The $7 billion budget includes $4.2 billion for road maintenance and construction, and a tax exemption for for petroleum marketers. Meanwhile, a new report by Robert Puentes of the Brookings Institution recommends strategies to states for remaking their transportation systems.
Update: an Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that the Ohio Senate should consider proposals that were omitted in the House version of the bill.
08 March 2011
American Greetings leaders announced on Monday that the company will keep its headquarters in Northeast Ohio, but added that they have not decided on a location in the area. The company is considering its current location in Brooklyn and four other sites in suburban Cuyahoga County. Ohio legislators passed a tax incentive aimed at keeping the company in the state, and Governor Kasich signed the bill (PDF) on Monday. A Plain Dealer editorial called it "a win for the home team."
Update: Ed FitzGerald does not want to encourage the company to relocate from one Cuyahoga County city to another, and will not offer any financial incentives.
21 January 2011
The Olmsted Joint Economic Development District revealed plans for the 385-acre Stearns Crossing Business Park in Olmsted Township. The first phase includes more than 250 acres near Stearns and Bagley roads.
20 January 2011
Local officials and developers are encouraging Ohio legislators to renew the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. The Ohio Department of Development's Urban Development Division is currently accepting applications for its sixth round, but will award credits only if the program is reauthorized.
03 January 2011
Strongsville City Council approved the creation of the City's third tax increment financing district, the second along Pearl Road. The TIF district is expected to help fund the second phase of the Pearl Road widening project.
03 December 2010
22 October 2010
In the first round of the Ohio New Markets Tax Credit program, the Ohio Department of Development made $10 million in credits available to four Ohio entities. About half of the credits were awarded to two Cuyahoga County recipients, one affiliated with KeyBank and the other associated with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. The credits may be used to support the Allen Theatre renovations and the Evergreen Cooperatives, among other initiatives.
29 September 2010
While the City of Avon has reached purchase agreements with many of the 31 property owners at the site of the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road, it is preparing to take 11 of them to court in an effort to determine a purchase price. Avon City Council also approved expanding the interchange TIF district to encompass 116 parcels.
Update: the Press of Avon Lake has more details.
25 August 2010
Tuesday's Sound of Ideas program on WCPN featured a spirited debate about municipal revenue sharing and the 16-county Regional Prosperity Initiative. The guests were Medina County Commissioner Stephen Hambley, Aurora Mayor Lynn McGill, and Professor Tom Bier, who recently wrote an op-ed about ideas for improving Northeast Ohio's older cities.
12 July 2010
The City of Seven Hills may create a tax increment financing district to help fund improvements along Broadview Road.
30 June 2010
17 June 2010
07 June 2010
03 June 2010
Greater Ohio has begun to gather feedback on a proposal for a statewide quarter-percent sales tax increase to fund public transit.
27 May 2010
The Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation that includes a permanent 100% property tax abatement for the Medical Mart in downtown Cleveland. The Ohio Senate has not voted on the proposal.
20 May 2010
The city councils of Solon and Twinsburg approved a memorandum of understanding that calls for cooperation on business relocations that involve incentives. Officials hope to reach similar agreements with other neighboring communities.
14 May 2010
07 May 2010
The Regional Prosperity Initiative's tax base sharing proposal has its supporters and detractors. WCPN's Eric Wellman spoke with a backer and a critic.
20 April 2010
31 March 2010
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation issued a request for proposals from developers interested in constructing an offshore pilot wind farm near downtown Cleveland. LEEDCo hopes to select a company in May and have the wind turbines operating by late 2012. Sherrod Brown and Ted Strickland are backing federal and state legislation that would support research and create tax incentives for wind power.
06 March 2010
In his two newest columns, Steve Hoffman of the Akron Beacon Journal looked at policy recommendations from the Restoring Prosperity report released by Greater Ohio and the Brookings Institution. He first discussed school district consolidation and the reactions of political leaders. In the second piece, he looked at the costs of local government fragmentation and the prospects for reorganizing local government. Greater Ohio officials and state legislators also recently discussed the report at the Columbus Metropolitan Club.
01 February 2010
Development of the Shores of Edgecliff project has not progressed as Euclid leaders hoped it would. The residential lakefront development remains unfinished, and two homeowners are suing the Coral Co., its developer.
20 January 2010
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency used federal stimulus funds to approve more than $53 million in tax credits. Three projects in Cuyahoga County were among the recipients: Emerald Alliance V on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Independence Place at the Prospect Avenue YWCA in Cleveland, and the Library Court senior housing development on Chagrin Boulevard in Shaker Heights.
14 December 2009
02 December 2009
24 November 2009
30 September 2009
Greater Ohio, building on input provided at June's Restoring Prosperity to Cleveland Mini-Summit, has prepared a draft of its Restoring Prosperity to Cleveland Policy Platform and is gathering comments and suggestions. The document will serve as a model for platforms for other Ohio cities.
23 September 2009
The proposed Regional Prosperity Initiative continues to generate mixed reactions. Some leaders in Wayne County support the concept, while others have doubts.
01 September 2009
The Lake County Mayors and City Managers Association has taken no action on the proposed 16-county Regional Prosperity Initiative since it was presented to members in April. Painesville City Manager Rita McMahon expects that building consensus will be difficult.
10 August 2009
09 July 2009
The Ohio Department of Mental Health selected a site along Euclid Avenue between East 55th and East 63rd streets for the new $84 million regional psychiatric hospital. It will replace aging facilities at the MetroHealth campus on Cleveland's west side and in Sagamore Hills Township. The 14-acre site was previously targeted for redevelopment as the Midtown Technology Center. Meanwhile, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency awarded affordable housing tax credits to six projects in Cuyahoga County, including two controversial planned developments in Midtown. Emerald Alliance V, a permanent supportive housing development, received $1 million. A neighboring planned senior housing development received $915,122.
29 June 2009
A Bainbridge Township Trustee said that the Township would be willing to reconsider the proposed JEDD for the Marketplace at Four Corners area, if the City of Aurora will pay the entire $1.2 million sought by the McGill Property Group.
Update: Aurora leaders remain interested in the JEDD.
23 June 2009
10 June 2009
05 June 2009
The Ohio Department of Development will begin accepting applications for round three of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program on July 1.
Update: the Plain Dealer has more details.
03 June 2009
About 60 people attended a Regional Prosperity Initiative meeting in Warrensville Heights today. Mayor Currin of Hudson said that the group hopes to introduce a revenue sharing and regional land use planning proposal by September.
20 May 2009
28 April 2009
17 April 2009
The owner of Bennington Village in Parma Heights is renovating the condominiums for sale, and has requested a 10-year tax abatement for the property. City Council is considering the implications of his proposal.
15 April 2009
Berea leaders decided not to renew the City's expiring tax abatement program. Several residents spoke out against its renewal.
14 April 2009
Several aspects of Cuyahoga County's convention center and Medical Mart plans have recently appeared in the news:
02 April 2009
As part of their proposal to create an Aurora-Bainbridge Township JEDD, officials with shopping center developers McGill Property Group are seeking $600,000 from Bainbridge Township and $600,000 from the City of Aurora.
26 March 2009
Amanda Woodrum of Policy Matters Ohio is the author of Committing to Commuters, a new report about state of public transit in Ohio. In an Akron Beacon Journal op-ed, she wrote about the state's lack of investment in public transportation and the need for a dedicated funding source. An editorial in the paper agrees with her conclusions.
19 March 2009
Hudson Mayor William Currin, chairman of the Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association, wrote in a Plain Dealer op-ed that now is the time for regional cooperation in Northeast Ohio, and announced the new Regional Prosperity Initiative. The new initiative promotes regional land use planning and revenue sharing as ways to achieve a prosperous future.
27 February 2009
Beachwood City Council, Eaton Corp., and two school districts agreed to a 30-year tax increment financing package for the company's planned new headquarters in the Chagrin Highlands. The State of Ohio has already committed $71 million in tax breaks and loans to facilitate the company's move from downtown Cleveland.
Update: The Plain Dealer reports that the combined incentives are worth more than $90 million.
13 February 2009
The 83 housing starts in Berea last year were the most in Cuyahoga County. Municipal officials credit the City's new tax abatement policy with encouraging the construction.
06 February 2009
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District board did not vote on the proposal to take responsibility for managing stormwater at a regional level. District staff will continue to promote the concept in the 61-community service area, and the board may pass the proposal in late summer or early fall. A Plain Dealer editorial agrees with their conclusion.
02 February 2009
On Thursday (PDF), the board of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District will discuss the regional stormwater management role proposed for the agency. The increase in responsibilities would be accompanied by new fees, which have been controversial, especially in light of the continued increases in sewer rates.
Update: GreenCityBlueLake answers questions about regional stormwater management.
09 December 2008
McGill Properties wants to restructure the tax increment financing agreement for its Greenbriar Crossing development in Parma Heights, without which the company may be unable to proceed with construction.
07 November 2008
On Monday, South Euclid City Council unanimously approved the creation a community reinvestment area encompassing the entire city. The City of Brooklyn passed similar legislation last month.
05 November 2008
Issue 2 (Clean Ohio renewal): passed
Issue 3 (water rights amendment): passed
Issue 14 (Pilgrim Inn zoning overlay): passed
Issues 15-16, 20-25 (rezonings): passed
Issues 17-19 (Zoning Board of Appeals changes): passed
Issue 32 (Architectural Review Board changes): passed
Issue 63 (development in parks): passed
Issue 83 (hazardous storage buffer): passed
Issue 86 (sign regulations): passed
Issue 87 (police station rezoning): passed
Issue 103 (O-2 district changes): passed
Issue 105 (retail rezoning): passed
Issue 106 (remove point-of-sale inspections): passed
Tri-City Joint Recreation District
Issue 136 (1 mill levy): failed
Issue 10 (retail rezoning): passed
Issue 10 (Park District levy): failed
Issues 32-35 (zoning code changes): passed
For more results, visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Openers, or the Sun News.
31 October 2008
The Supplemental School Revenue Committee in Valley View agreed on a proposal for replacing lost income to the Cuyahoga Heights Schools caused by the move of Safeguard Properties. The agreement, which will be presented to Village Council, calls for sharing income taxes collected from the company.
24 October 2008
16 October 2008
The Ohio Department of Development announced the recipients in the second round of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program today. Of the 48 projects selected, 14 are in Cleveland. The Terminal Tower, St. Luke's Hospital, and the East Ohio Gas Building on East 6th Street each received credits valued at an estimated $5 million.
If passed by voters in Berea, Brook Park, and Middleburg Heights, the 1 mill continuing levy of Issue 136 will provide funds to construct and maintain new facilities for the Tri-City Senior Center. Many elected officials in Berea and Brook Park are opposed to the issue.
15 October 2008
The Ohio Historic Preservation Office recommended awarding federal tax credits for the planned renovation of the Cleveland Trust Tower in downtown Cleveland. The tax credits could be worth $8-$10 million for the $133 million project.
03 October 2008
A Solon resident is questioning the legality of using tax increment financing for the proposed Central Park development. He believes that the type of TIF proposed can only be used in blighted areas.
21 September 2008
17 September 2008
The City of Cleveland Heights has started offering 100% tax abatements over seven years for new residential construction.
12 September 2008
Mayor Westfall of Valley View formed the Supplemental School Revenue Committee. The committee is charged with finding ways to replace the loss of tax revenue to the Cuyahoga Heights Schools caused by the move of Safeguard Properties.
Legislation was introduced in Brooklyn City Council that would designate the entire city as a community reinvestment area. Homeowners and businesses in CRAs are eligible for tax incentives on new construction and major renovations. The City of South Euclid is considering similar legislation.
03 September 2008
Valley View Village Council approved a tax break for a company it hopes will move from Brooklyn Heights. Mayor Procuk of Brooklyn Heights appears to have dropped his objections.
Update: Mayor Procuk said he has "cooled down a bit".
29 August 2008
The mayor of Brooklyn Heights accused the mayor of Valley View of stealing a business by offering the company a tax break to relocate to Valley View. The Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association approved a nonbinding no-poaching resolution in 2006. Valley View Village Council is scheduled to vote on the incentives on Tuesday.
Update: a Plain Dealer editorial encourages the public and local leaders to pressure Valley View officials to drop their plans.
22 August 2008
Parma Heights City Council passed a tax increment financing agreement for the Greenbriar Crossing development at West 130th Street and Pearl Road. The agreement also requires the approval of the Parma Board of Education.
15 August 2008
The Francis Court Gables townhouses in South Euclid are not selling well, and only one building has been constructed. Developer Jim Teresi wants the City to adopt a residential tax abatement measure. In addition, the proposed Stoneridge Place subdivision and Liberty Court condominiums are on indefinite hold.
13 August 2008
The Ohio Department of Development will announce additional historic preservation tax credit awards before the end of September. Changes to the rules place a greater emphasis on the potential economic benefits of redevelopment and a more equitable distribution across the state. A large percentage of the round one awards went to projects in Cleveland.
01 August 2008
Parma Heights City Council will be asked to approve a tax increment financing package for the Greenbrier Crossing development at Pearl Road and West 130th Street.
21 July 2008
Portage County residents will vote on a 0.5-mill levy for Portage Park District operations. Voters have turned down levy requests four times in the past 12 years. The group Citizens for Portage Parks supports the levy request.
07 July 2008
If the proposed rezoning for the Twinsburg Fashion Place development is approved, members of the Twinsburg Board of Education expect that they will be asked to authorize a TIF package for the retail project.
25 June 2008
A Plain Dealer editorial says that "Ohio has done the right thing" in reviving the Historic Preservation Tax Credit program.
23 June 2008
MyHometownOhio lists the changes to the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program that were made as part of the recent economic stimulus package.
Update: The Plain Dealer has more details about the changes.
20 June 2008
By a vote of 10-4, the board of the Tri-City Joint Recreation District decided to put a 1 mill, five-year levy on the November ballot in Berea, Brook Park, and Middleburg Heights. The board's president says that it would raise enough money to demolish and replace the existing Tri-City Senior Center and cover operating expenses and programming.
The Solon Board of Education retained a law firm to represent them in TIF negotiations with the City and the Coral Co. The company is seeking a TIF for 75% of the non-school area in the proposed 90 acre Central Park development.
13 June 2008
Mayor O'Grady of North Olmsted pulled back his plans for a new recreation center and an income tax increase. He intends to revisit the proposal in the future.
06 June 2008
Yesterday, the Fund for Our Economic Future awarded four grants totaling $4.98 million to spur regional economic development efforts. The Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association received $50,000 for further analysis of revenue sharing and regional land use planning through the Regional Economic Revenue Study.
A study funded by the Coral Co. says that the company's proposed Central Park development would generate $65.21 million in tax revenues and fees for the City of Solon over a 20 year period. The company and the City do not agree on how best to share the costs of various studies on the proposed mixed-use development.
30 May 2008
Feedback from the public led North Olmsted leaders to part ways with YMCA for the proposed $18 million recreation center. Mayor O'Grady still hopes to have a tax issue on the November ballot. The dissolution of the partnership means that the income tax would run for 30 years instead of 20-25 years.
The board of the Tri-City Joint Recreation District established a committee that will study the options for a proposed levy that would fund the Tri-City Senior Center.
02 May 2008
Leaders in North Olmsted hope to reach a decision by later this month about the proposed recreation master plan and a possible income tax issue.
25 April 2008
A Plain Dealer editorial says that state officials erred in limiting participation in the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, and urges them to remove the "outrageous and capricious cap".
22 April 2008
Next month, the Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association will vote on whether to pursue recommendations identified in the Regional Economic Revenue Study. Chairman William Currin, the mayor of Hudson, declined to identify the recommendations (PDF) prior to the meeting.
The Plain Dealer reviewed the history of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, the controversial decision to cap its funding at $120 million, and the program's potential direction in the future.
14 April 2008
Several Ohio property owners are suing the Ohio Department of Development, claiming that the agency's decision to halt the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program was illegal. The proposed Ohio stimulus package may include additional funding for the program.
11 April 2008
Elected leaders from across a 16 county Northeast Ohio region signaled their willingness to pursue regional land use planning and revenue sharing. Details will be released at a May 15 meeting of the Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association.
28 March 2008
A report by the City of Westlake's Economic Development Department says that tax abatements have led to the creation of 746 jobs and the retention of another 367 jobs over the last nine years.
14 March 2008
Nine more properties in Cleveland received awards through the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. Locally, the largest credits went to the Higbee Building ($7.8 million), the Cleveland Institute of Art's McCullough Center ($5.7 million), the Hanna Building ($4.6 million), and the Union Gospel Press building ($4.4 million). It was the third and final announcement in round one of the awards. MyHometownOhio reports that there will not be a second round because the program reached its $120 million limit. The Plain Dealer listed the status of all local applicants.
The City of Solon may pay for portions of a proposed new four lane road that would connect the proposed Central Parc development to Route 422. Developer Peter Rubin of the Coral Co. is also scheduled to address the Solon School Board on Monday about tax increment financing for the development. Meanwhile, Solon City Council is examining a proposal to create a low-density multifamily zoning district on the south side of Bainbridge Road.
13 March 2008
The Gund Foundation's latest round of awards includes a $40,000 grant to the City Fresh program, a $90,000 grant to the Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy for its farmland preservation efforts, and a $100,000 grant to the National Trust for Historic Preservation to evaluate the economic impact of the pilot Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit.
12 March 2008
07 March 2008
The deadline set by the Cuyahoga County Commissioners for reaching an agreement with Merchandise Mart Properties regarding the proposed Medical Mart passed earlier this week, but the company requested and received a one week extension. The Commissioners now expect to have an answer by March 13. A pair of Cleveland councilmen, meanwhile, want the Commissioners to rescind last year's sales tax increase.
13 February 2008
Roldo Bartimole objects to the public subsidization of private downtown developments, using the incentives earmarked for the rehabilitation the 668 Euclid complex as an example.
08 February 2008
Many cities are encountering obstacles in meeting their carbon dioxide reduction goals, despite enthusiasm among citizens and city officials in places such as Cleveland. Even the best-laid plans to reduce emissions have been constrained by budgets, conflicting political ideologies, legal restrictions by states, and people's unwillingness to change.
04 February 2008
The website for the Regional Economic Revenue Study has been updated with a series of video interviews with Myron Orfield about regional planning and revenue sharing.
(via Advance Northeast Ohio)
01 February 2008
18 January 2008
South Euclid leaders are considering a plan to designate the entire City as a community reinvestment area. Homeowners who reinvest in their properties would be eligible for a property tax reduction. New construction would also qualify for the reduction.
17 January 2008
Euclid City Council's Executive and Finance Committee unanimously voted to establish a 25 year TIF for the forthcoming CVS store on Lake Shore Boulevard. The precise boundaries of the TIF zone have yet to be determined.
31 December 2007
The Ohio Department of Development gave 11 more awards through the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, including six in Cleveland. The largest tax credit in Cleveland, valued at an estimated $1.4 million, went to the Scott A. Rogers Co. Building, part of the University Lofts development near Cleveland State University. The Capitol Theater in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood received a tax credit worth an estimated $1.1 million.
28 December 2007
27 December 2007
Yesterday, Avon City Council approved a tax increment financing package for the area along Chester Road between Center and Nagel Roads. Revenues from the 30-year TIF will be used to pay for roughly ⅓ of the planned Nagel Road interchange. Another third will be funded by municipal bonds, and the final third by the Jacobs Group.
The newly formed Tri-City Joint Recreation District will not have a tax levy on the March ballot because the board has not yet held a meeting. Its first meeting will be held on January 14.
26 December 2007
07 December 2007
Developer Bob Stark's ambitious plans for a $1.5 billion Warehouse District development will require significant public investment, and he wants to explore non-traditional public financing options. The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt says that Stark's big idea "ought to get a full and fair hearing". Mayor Jackson likes the development proposal, and is keeping an open mind about Stark's financing ideas.
05 December 2007
In March, Maple Heights voters will be asked to approve a tax issue to raise $53.5 million for the proposed school construction project, which calls for replacing the high school, the middle school, and three elementary school buildings. A pair of public meetings will be held this week.
20 November 2007
19 November 2007
While voters in Berea and Brook Park approved the creation of the Tri-City Joint Recreation District, some councilmen in the two cities remain vocally opposed to a tax to support the Tri-City Senior Center.
14 November 2007
Earlier today, Mayor Jackson proposed new standards for housing construction and renovation. In order to obtain financial assistance from the City, builders and contractors would have to meet national green building standards. Some builders worry that it would raise their costs. If Cleveland City Council adopts the proposal, the new rules would start in 2009.
(Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says the proposal "isn't a bad idea. But it has to be done carefully.")
07 November 2007
Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
Issue 14 (renewal levy): passed
Tri-City Joint Recreation District
Issue 19 (Berea): passed
Issue 27 (Brook Park): passed
Issue 26 (retail rezoning): passed
Issue 61 (rezoning): passed
Issue 76 (Rockside Terrace rezoning): passed
Issue 80 (Lutheran Home rezoning): passed
Issue 81 (Crocker Park rezoning): passed
Issue 35 (rec center/stadium tax): passed
Charter Amendment 1 (eliminate planning director): passed
Issue 23 (establish planning department): passed
Issue 25 (establish Master Plan Review Commission): passed
Issue 51 (retail rezoning): failed
Issue 52 (permit big box retail): failed
Issue 50 (zoning code changes): failed
For complete Cuyahoga County results, visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections or Cleveland.com.
06 November 2007
Today's ballot in Berea (Issue 19) and Brook Park (Issue 27) includes a proposal to create a joint recreational taxing district to support the Tri-City Senior Center. Middleburg Heights City Council approved the district last year. Funding for the district is not included in this issue.
30 October 2007
Yesterday, a group of political and business leaders gathered to support Issue 14, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's renewal levy. If approved, it will generate $3.2 million per year for the next five years.
26 October 2007
Developers are working to obtain municipal approval for the second phase of the Renaissance Park retail development in Strongsville. They continue to seek a TIF package for the 125,000 square foot project (PDF).
23 October 2007
A Plain Dealer editorial supports Issue 14, a renewal levy for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.
22 October 2007
The Garfield Heights Board of Education approved an amended compensation agreement for payments in lieu of taxes in the Bridgeview Crossing TIF package. A $3 million dollar payment originally scheduled for June was shifted to December 31.
15 October 2007
The Cleveland Clinic continues to appeal a 2005 ruling of the Ohio Tax Commissioner which declared that the Clinic's Cedar Road facility in Beachwood is not exempt from local property taxes. The case is expected to eventually go before the Ohio Supreme Court.
12 October 2007
11 October 2007
Avon leaders offered a compromise agreement intended to end the controversy over the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. In exchange for approving the interchange, an 800 acre joint economic development zone in Avon would be created by Avon, Cleveland, and six western Cuyahoga County suburbs. Under the proposal, if a company with a payroll of more than $1 million were to move from one of the member cities to the Avon development zone, the two cities would evenly split its income tax revenue for five years. A Plain Dealer editorial says that the "region needs a coherent development strategy."
(Update: The Plain Dealer and Chronicle-Telegram report that officials are close to reaching a deal.)
10 October 2007
Cleveland Development Advisors obtained $25 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits. They will award the credits to businesses and banks that invest in catalytic developments in Cleveland.
19 September 2007
The Plain Dealer compared Cuyahoga County's decision to use a sales tax increase to pay for a new convention center with funding mechanisms employed by other cities.
18 September 2007
29 August 2007
Local activists were unable to obtain enough signatures in a petition drive to force a referendum issue on the recent Cuyahoga County sales tax increase. The quarter-percent increase will begin on October 1 and remain in place for 20 years. A Plain Dealer editorial says that "the real work on a convention center now begins."
20 August 2007
Summit County leaders want more information about the proposed soccer stadium and retail complex in Macedonia before they decide whether to put a sin tax for the stadium on the ballot.
Broadview Heights City Council's Stormwater Committee is preparing for a public hearing on proposed fees to fund stormwater projects. It will be held on August 30 at 7:00 p.m. in Broadview Heights City Hall.
09 August 2007
After reaching a water distribution and no poaching agreement with the City of Cleveland, leaders in Bedford are contemplating the implications of a region-wide tax sharing plan.
06 August 2007
Plans for the proposed 12 unit condominium project on Lorain Road are scheduled to go before the Fairview Park Board of Zoning Appeals next month. The site of the planned Residences of Chanticleer development is currently occupied by a single-family house.
30 July 2007
Summit County Council decided not to place a sin tax for the proposed soccer stadium on the November ballot. Officials felt that the timing was wrong because there are two other countywide levies on the November ballot. The sin tax may appear on the March ballot. An Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that it was a wise decision.
The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority placed a 0.13 mill property tax renewal levy on the November ballot. The current levy will expire at the end of 2008.
27 July 2007
Yesterday, the Cuyahoga County Commissioners held a second public hearing on the proposed sales tax increase to fund the construction of a new convention center to compliment the proposed Medical Mart. Following the meeting, the Commissioners voted 2-1 to raise the sales tax by a quarter percent for 20 years. A group of politicians and citizens responded by starting a petition drive to force a voter referendum on the increase. Cleveland.com compiled some reactions from area bloggers, while a Plain Dealer editorial says that the Commissioners "made the correct but politically difficult vote".
25 July 2007
Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones says that the proposed Cleveland Medical Mart and convention center "clearly offers great promise", but he does not support raising the sales tax to pay for their construction. Cleveland Councilman Brian Cummins also endorses the concept, but would like to explore the reuse of the existing convention center site and "less burdensome" tax options. The second public hearing on the proposed sales tax increase will be held tomorrow morning, and following the hearing, the Cuyahoga County Commissioners plan to vote on the proposal.
23 July 2007
A Plain Dealer editorial and Joe Roman of the Greater Cleveland Partnership both assert that the proposed Cuyahoga County sales tax increase is the only viable option for funding the construction of a new convention center.
Officials from Macedonia and Northfield Center Township reached a tentative agreement that calls for Macedonia to annex more than 200 acres along Route 8 south of Highland Road for the proposed soccer stadium complex. On August 6, Summit County Council is expected to vote on placing the proposed sin tax on the November ballot.
(Update: annexation talks are continuing, and Summit County Council has not yet voted on the sin tax proposal.)
20 July 2007
About 300 people attended yesterday's public hearing on the proposed sales tax increase to fund the construction of a new convention center that would accompany the proposed Cleveland Medical Mart. Chris Kennedy of Merchandise Mart Properties told them that Cleveland should move quickly to avoid competing proposals from other cities. WKYC has video of the 40 minute presentation.
The City Club will host a session about the Medical Mart proposal on August 3, and Scott Suttell of Crain's Cleveland Business wonders "why the city's power brokers are so allergic to free-wheeling debate." Today, the Cuyahoga County Commissioners announced that the proposed ¼% sales tax increase would expire in 20 years and that its revenues would be used exclusively for the new convention center.
Owners of historic structures in Cleveland submitted 32 of the 69 applications for the new Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit. The properties include the Terminal Tower, Higbee Building, Cleveland Trust Rotunda, and the Cleveland Athletic Club.
Broadview Heights City Council will not vote on the proposed stormwater funding fee until August 13 at the earliest.
19 July 2007
The first of two public hearings on the proposed Cuyahoga County sales tax increase is being held this morning, and the Plain Dealer took a quick look at some of the County's other taxation options. The second hearing will be held on July 26.
13 July 2007
Cleveland.com and Roger Bundy cataloged the questions asked at yesterday's Cool Cleveland forum on the proposed Cuyahoga County sales tax increase (PDF). Photographs of the event are available at Cool Cleveland.
(Update: Meet the Bloggers provided audio of the session.)
(via Brewed Fresh Daily)
12 July 2007
11 July 2007
Four suburban Cuyahoga County mayors say that their residents will support the proposed sales tax increase for the proposed Medical Mart only if all of the tax revenue goes directly to the project, and is not used to support other initiatives. Meanwhile, Plain Dealer columnist Kevin O'Brien thinks that the Medical Mart proposal is a good idea.
06 July 2007
By a vote of 3-2, Macedonia City Council approved a controversial 100%, 30 year tax increment financing package for the proposed Mary Maria senior housing complex. The TIF will be used to fund the construction of a road connecting Valley View Road to Route 82.
03 July 2007
Yesterday's launch of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program attracted a crowd to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office in Columbus, as applicants camped out in line over the weekend for the first-come, first-served application process. The office opened at 8:00, and by 11:00 a.m., applications for 63 projects had been filed. 100 projects will be financed this year.
25 June 2007
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson supports the proposed sales tax increase to attract the proposed medical mart and build a corresponding new convention center, while a Plain Dealer editorial says that local leaders must persuade the public of the idea's value. This morning's Sound of Ideas program on WCPN was devoted to a debate about the proposal.
(Update: WCPN distilled the discussion into a short piece.)
20 June 2007
The Cuyahoga County Commissioners presented a plan to raise the sales tax by a quarter percent to support a new convention center that would accompany the proposed medical mart. The increase to 7.75% would raise a projected additional $42 million per year, of which $20 million would be used to pay for the convention center. Voter approval is not needed for the tax increase, but public hearings are required, and they will be held on July 19 and July 26.
(Update: The Plain Dealer examined the reactions of suburban leaders, and WKSU also reported on the proposal.)
19 June 2007
Preservation Ohio launched the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Resource Center, "a one-stop location for information on the newest financial incentive for renovation and restoration of historic buildings in Ohio." The presentation (PDF) from last month's Northeast Ohio Historic Tax Credit training seminar is also available online.
08 June 2007
An Akron Beacon Journal editorial concludes that Summit County Council "must have a clear understanding of the net benefit before giving their approval" to a sin tax issue to support the proposed soccer stadium complex.
Summit County Council unanimously approved a tax increment financing agreement with a developer planning to build a road as part of a senior housing complex in Macedonia. City Council has not voted on the proposal.
05 June 2007
Yesterday, a resolution for a sin tax to support the proposed Summit County soccer stadium complex was introduced in Summit County Council. The 35-year tax on cigarettes, wine, and beer would be used to raise $100 million for the development of the 400 acre site in Macedonia and Northfield Center Township. The proposed tax will appear on the November ballot if it's approved by August 23.
04 June 2007
Additional incentives beyond the approved $1.5 million sales tax rebate may be necessary to lure Bass Pro Shops to Akron. Other communities that have attracted stores offered infrastructure improvements, increased tax breaks, and site preparation work as incentives.
The Plain Dealer's Becky Gaylord reports that the regional economic revenue study recently funded by the the Fund for Our Economic Future will be conducted by Myron Orfield and researchers at Cleveland State University and Lorain County Community College. They will analyze property tax sharing models and identify potential legislative changes.
01 June 2007
Brian Cummins, the only Cleveland councilperson to vote against the residential tax abatement extension, says that the ordinance does not do enough to promote green building. "The bottom line is that we could have had a much stronger energy-efficiency component much quicker."
25 May 2007
Developers are preparing plans for a 12 unit condominium building on Lorain Road in Fairview Park. They will ask the City for a seven year, 100% tax abatement.
23 May 2007
As expected, Cleveland City Council voted to extend the existing residential tax abatement program until 2012. Starting in 2010, new housing construction must meet Energy Star standards to be eligible for abatements. Mayor Jackson said he was "very disappointed," but declined to say if he would veto the ordinance.
(Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that City Council "helped not only Cleveland but also the whole region")
16 May 2007
GreenCityBlueLake explores the potential for the City of Cleveland to tie residential tax abatements to green building practices, and asks, "Should council vote to renew tax abatements as is, or should it consider leveraging its position to get a green building policy as well?"
26 April 2007
The Cuyahoga County Department of Development will hold a free training session on the Ohio Historic Tax Credit program on May 8 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Tri-C's Corporate College East. The seminar is free, but registration (PDF) is required.
18 April 2007
Cleveland City Council is expected to disregard Frank Jackson's proposal to scale back the City's residential tax abatement program and extend the current policy of awarding 15 year abatements. Mayor Jackson has not indicated if he would veto the measure.
(Update: Channel 3's Tom Beres interviews Frank Jackson.)
17 April 2007
Roldo Bartimole reacts to the recent Plain Dealer editorial about Mayor Jackson's residential tax abatement proposal, calling the piece "simplistic and disingenuous."
13 April 2007
North Royalton leaders are preparing a tax increment financing package that will be used to support the planned Town Center District development. Mayor Luks and other officials will also attend the annual ICSC convention in Las Vegas next month to court prospective retailers.
11 April 2007
Frank Jackson yesterday proposed scaling back Cleveland's residential tax abatement program. Tax abatements on new construction would be reduced from 15 to seven years, but houses that incorporate green building techniques or elder-friendly designs would be eligible for 12 year abatements. He also wants to extend tax abatements for rehabilitated homes from 10 to 12 years. Some City Council members are skeptical about making changes to the program, and developers oppose the proposed reduction.
(Update: a Plain Dealer editorial urges City Council to reject the proposal.)
16 March 2007
Cleveland Municipal School District CFO James Fortlage told Cleveland City Council that the schools are "not opposed to some form of incentives," but would not indicate if district officials supported a renewal of the existing residential tax abatement policy.
13 March 2007
Roldo Bartimole again denounces Cleveland's tax abatement policy, calling it unjust, "the narcotic of developers", and "a plague upon the body politic", and questions the tax abatement study conducted by CSU.
09 March 2007
Several state officials have raised questions about whether the buildings at Steelyard Commons are eligible for tax abatements. "The exemption only applies to the land and the existing buildings on the property, not to new buildings on the property. There are exceptions that apply to new buildings," explained an Ohio EPA attorney.
07 March 2007
At a land use law conference yesterday, speakers said that Greater Cleveland's tax structure and zoning policies turn the development process into an obstacle course.
05 March 2007
A Plain Dealer editorial urges Cleveland City Council to extend the residential tax abatement program "without weakening it in any way."
28 February 2007
A new report (PDF) from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State concluded that the City of Cleveland's residential tax abatement program is increasing Cleveland's population and tax base. Dean Mark Rosentraub says that the program is working and should be retained. This morning's edition of The Sound of Ideas on WCPN discussed the subject with Rosentraub, Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman, Nate Coffman of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis.
21 February 2007
On Monday, Wal-Mart announced that they would decline the tax abatement that their Steelyard Commons store received. City officials hope to convince Home Depot and Target to also forgo the tax break. In addition, Wal-Mart named Cleveland as one of nine communities selected as "Wal-Mart Jobs and Opportunity Zones." A Plain Dealer editorial says that Wal-Mart and First Interstate Properties did the right thing by giving up their tax abatements.
16 February 2007
Euclid City Council President Ed Gudenas has proposed two options to encourage development in the southeast quadrant of the City. The first is the creation of an incentive zone that would give a .85% income tax rebate to companies that are willing to develop properties in that area. The second involves establishing a tax increment financing district.
12 February 2007
A Plain Dealer editorial on the Steelyard Commons tax abatement news concludes that the shopping center "can yet be a win for this city" if the big-box retailers agree to turn down their tax exemptions.
09 February 2007
Last month, state officials approved the creation of five Community Reinvestment Areas in Shaker Heights. Residents in the CRAs are eligible for 75% tax abatements for eight years when investing at least $80,000 in home repairs, and in four of the CRAs, new single-family houses over $200,000 are eligible for 75% tax abatements for five years.
08 February 2007
Although the developer of Steelyard Commons in Cleveland claimed that it would not use public subsidies, big-box stores at Steelyard Commons will have tax abatements. Properties that successfully complete brownfields remediation through Ohio's Voluntary Action Program are automatically eligible for a 10 year tax abatement. Wal-Mart has been approved for the tax break and the Home Depot has applied for it. Taxes generated by the property were intended to fund the extension of the Towpath Trail through Cleveland.
(Update: recent legislation allows property owners to decline the tax exemption (PDF) or to discontinue existing exemptions.)
31 January 2007
On Tuesday's Sound of Ideas program on WCPN, Frank Jackson shared his thoughts on the Cleveland redevelopment strategy, capital improvement plan, and tax abatement policy. Also appearing on the show were Becky Gaylord of the Plain Dealer, Jay Miller of Crain's Cleveland Business, and Ward 11 Councilman Mike Polensek.
29 January 2007
24 January 2007
11 January 2007
Developers of the Stonebridge project on the west bank of the Flats say that they would not be interested in building in Cleveland if the City withdrew its residential tax abatement policy. They hope to hope to begin construction of the development's next phase this spring.
The Parma School Board did not vote on a tax increment financing package for the planned Rockside Terrace development, disappointing the project's developers. Seven Hills City Council unanimously approved the agreement at a special meeting on December 31.
03 January 2007
Governor Taft signed House Bill 149, enacting the historic preservation tax credit passed by the Ohio General Assembly last month. It will go into effect in 90 days.
02 January 2007
A Plain Dealer editorial offers encouragement for Mayor Currin of Hudson's call for a regional tax sharing plan, calling it a "commendable and courageous step to try to ensure long-term economic health for all of Northeast Ohio."
Cleveland City Council is expected to consider scaling back the City's residential tax abatement program in June. Developers of some proposed projects reached agreements with the City which would allow them to retain the current 15 year, 100% abatements if the program is changed.
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