Cuyahoga County Planning Commission

Historical Development
Conditions and Trends
Impacts on Land Use
Table of Contents


The original intent of Ohio's tax abatement programs was to allow muncipalities that have economically distressed areas, high unemployment, low income, or population loss to provide tax exemptions to businesses to assist in defraying costs of locating and operating their companies in these areas.

It is widely acknowledged that these programs strayed from their original purpose. Suburban and growing rural communities often use tax abatement as an economic development tool to subsidize new construction and businesses and to increase their tax base by inducing businesses out of the existing urban areas. This has happened between communities within the same county and between counties within the same region.

Studies have shown that Ohio tax abatement programs are often used:

  • where infrastructure is the best,. not the worst;
  • where operating costs are the lowest, not the highest; and
  • where employment rates are the lowest, not the highest.
The Ohio Department of Taxation annually releases an analysis of exempt real property by county. Table 3-4 shows the value of the real property exempted using tax abatements for the 5-county region.

Table 3-4
Total Amount of Real Property Exempted by Tax Abatements
County 1996 Total
Tax Abatement
1997 Total
Tax Abatement
% Incresase
Cuyahoga $246,477,520 $288,450,520 17.0%
Geauga $15,640,500 $16,195,620 3.5%
Lake $30,170,060 $32,606,300 8.1%
Lorain $44,718,830 $45,521,460 1.7%
Medina $26,520,810 $32,012,500 20.7%
TOTAL $363,527,720  $414,786,400 14.1%
SOURCE: Ohio Department of Taxation's Tax Data Series.
Table PE-1, PE-2, PE-3. October 20, 1996 and July 11, 1997

A majority of Cuyahoga County communities have designated enterprise zones (Map 3-1). To date, only the City of Brunswick and the City of Medina have enterprise zones located in their boundaries. Despite the extreme efforts of Cuyahoga County and many of its communities, employment continues to decline, while the other counities in the region continue to gain.

Map 3-1
Cuyahoga County Enterprise Zone
(Ohio Urban and Rural Enterprise Zone Program)

  Page 1: Population Projections
Page 2: Employment Projections
Page 3: Land Use Controls
Page 4: Assessed Valuation
Page 5: Tax Rates
Page 6: Property Tax Abatement Progams
Page 7: Journey to Work
Page 8: Traffic Conditions on I-71
Page 9: I-480/I-71 Interchange
Page 10: Induced or Generated Traffic

  © 1998 Cuyahoga County Planning Commission
323 Lakeside Ave West, Suite 400
Cleveland, OH 44113-1009
Tel: (216) 443-3700
Fax: (216) 443-3737