Cleveland Experience May Inform Akron Development Plan

File photo of Downtown Cleveland. (Tony Ganzer / ideastream)
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Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan wants the city to provide property tax abatements on new home construction and renovations.  He’s finalizing a plan aimed at spurring investment and turning around the city’s weak residential growth.  The city of Cleveland has had a similar abatement program on the books for more than 20 years.  From Ohio Public Radio station WKSU, Kevin Niedermier has more.

Cleveland’s abatement program eliminates taxes on new construction for 15 years, and for ten years on renovations to existing homes.  

Owners still pay taxes on the land.  

It includes both rental and owner-occupied structures.  

Cory Riordan is executive director of the Tremont West Development Corporation in Cleveland.  

He says the abatements help the urban neighborhood compete with suburban developments.

Riordan: “We’ve been using it for the full 20 years and it has spurred tens of millions of dollars in this neighborhood and really created an economy here as well as hundreds if not thousands of owner-occupied and rental units.”

Riordan says before the abatements, investment was scarce, but now some new homes in Tremont are now valued at around $400,000.  

Akron officials say Mayor Horrigan’s abatement plan is expected to go before city council in a couple of months.

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