Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Perspective on Tax Abatement Policy: A Knee Jerk Reaction?

Roldo Bartimole of Lakewood is a writer who is featured on Lakewood Buzz, a cool local website if you want to learn about the goings on in that city. He said something that rang true for me. Mayor Jackson proposed a change to the tax abatement policy - not an elimination of it. Regardless of how people vote on this issue, it seems to me we avoided healthy dialogue by 'side taking' early in the game.

Read what Roldo has to say here. My thinking goes like this: for us to come up with creative ideas to move Cleveland forward, we need to not be so quick to stop dialogue. Just my two cents.

It's almost June, and probably there will be an extension of the current policy. I just get tired of things becoming a 'for' or 'against' on issues like this...important issues that need discussion. UrbanOhio (The Forum) is one of the few places I've seen a healthy discussion on the topic. If you are interested, check it out here.


derek said...

I think that, if tax abatement is used at all, it should be used solely on existing housing. This way, people who buy in can use the extra funds to improve current housing which helps the neighborhood.

Tax abatements for new, expensive housing seems like a gravy train for everyone but the people who already reside in a neighborhood. It's a lose-lose. These people have to pay all of their tax...and, if their property goes up in value by being in the proximity of valuable property, their home value goes up...and so does their tax.

I think that Roldo is definitely on point. His writing just makes sense. It always has to me.

Cleveland Carole Cohen 3C said...

Derek I like your thoughtful comments; I agree that most of the tax abatement should go to rehabbing. We have entire neighborhoods that need rehabbing - I think the City's CIP Five Yr Plan report identifies them as 'fragile.' I can see in some of these neighborhoods a need for some new housing too, but would be more impressed if they were mixed use, Planned Unit Developments that can be affordable instead of $300k and up price points. And I always like reading Roldo too!