Residential Tax-Abatement Program Examined

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A hearing yesterday was one of several the council has held on the program that waives taxes for 15 years on new developments in the city. That program expires June 15th, and talk of cutting back the tax break has housing groups and developers urging the council to keep it as is. Nate Coffman heads the Home Builders Association of Greater Cleveland.

Nate Coffman: Hopefully, it will not be tinkered with in any dramatic way because we feel quite strongly that you need these abatements. It's a proven tool.

West side Councilman Jay Westbrook agrees, saying the housing market in Cleveland remains very weak and the program should continue. But Sabra Pierce Scott, who chairs the community and economic development committee, says the council wants to make the right choice for the long haul, and she's withholding judgment until all views are heard.

Sabra Pierce Scott: We're trying to be prepared to say this is the way we'd like to see tax abatements over the next 15 to 30 years going into the future.

The Council is awaiting a report from Cleveland State University on the effects of the tax abatement, and will also hear testimony from school district officials. Dan Bobkoff, 90.3.

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