PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT PROGRAMS IN OHIO
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:
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.
- 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.
Total Amount of Real Property Exempted by Tax Abatements
|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.
Cuyahoga County Enterprise Zone
(Ohio Urban and Rural Enterprise Zone Program)