Akron Hopes Tax Abatement Program Will Spur Housing Investment

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Akron is accepting applications for 100% tax abatements on new construction and major renovations of houses anywhere in the city. Cleveland has long had a similar program.  From member station WKSU, M.L. Schultze reports.

City Council approved the program in April, and now the state has OK’d the designation that allows the residential abatements to be applied anywhere in the city.

Mayor Dan Horrigan’s spokeswoman, Ellen Lander-Nischt, says the idea is to try to counter decades of population loss.

“We’ve had on average less than 10 new homes built in the city every year for the past couple decades. We’re hoping to triple, quadruple -- see that number really increase dramatically -- in the next couple years. So hopefully, even next year, this time next year, we’ll be able to see a significant impact.”

The abatement is of property taxes – most of which go to the schools.

Lander-Nischt says the schools have endorsed the abatement program because they hope to benefit from more young families moving into the city.

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