City council to vote on creating citywide tax abatement program
MANSFIELD - City council is expected to vote in two weeks on a proposal making the entire city a community reinvestment area (CRA), allowing developers to receive tax abatements for at least a decade or more.
sg飞艇app"We're somewhat lagging the state and the national economy in investment in new housing," said Tim Bowersock, economic development director, who presented the measure on Tuesday during council's meeting, held via Zoom and broadcast live on Facebook.
A citywide CRA was in place until 2007, Bowersock said, adding that most developers who renovated properties in the Carrousel District utilized the program.
sg飞艇appOnly added or improved value would be subject to exemption.
"We can't exempt or abate the existing tax base," he said. "So we're not hurting the existing tax base with this program — we're trying to spur investment."
In some cases, the percentage of exempted taxes could be up to 100%. The exact amount will be determined on a case-by-case basis and outlined in an agreement between the city and developer.
sg飞艇appCouncil would have final say on whether to approve the agreement.
sg飞艇appAccording to the proposal, which comes before council on May 19, taxes on improved value could be abated for up to 10 years for developers who remodel residential properties with at least two units and spend at least $2,500; up to 12 years for those who remodel commercial properties or residential properties with more than two units and spend at least $5,000; and up to 15 years for those who construct new commercial or residential housing.
Bowersock would serve as housing officer, and a "Community Reinvestment Area Housing Council" would be created, consisting of two members appointed by Mayor Tim Theaker, two by council and one by the city planning commission.
sg飞艇appThose members would then appoint two city residents to the board, which would be tasked with conducting annual inspections of properties granted tax exemptions.
The city also would have the choice of either creating a new "Tax Incentive Review Council," or stick with the Richland County Tax Incentive Review Council, Bowersock said.
The economic development director said nearby communities such as Ashland, Galion, Norwalk, Lexington and Mount Vernon have CRAs.
sg飞艇app"We're not seeing a great deal of investment in new, I'd say market-rate, low to middle-income housing," Bowersock said. "This could be used as leverage in projects that are looking at using the Ohio Finance Authority."
sg飞艇appIf Mansfield City Council approves the plan to create a CRA, a document would be published in the Mansfield News Journal for two weeks, then an application would be sent to the state, which would have 30 days to respond.
The CRA could be established by July if the state approves the application, Bowersock said.
sg飞艇appIn other news, council:
• Agreed to pay Allied Technical Servicessg飞艇app to clean the water treatment plant's service line for $58,000. The line had a buildup of calcium carbonate earlier this year that caused officials to issue a citywide boil advisory that lasted four days.
• Authorized the city to enter into a contract for Fair Housing Services with the Richland County Board of Commissioners and the Richland County Regional Planning Commission.
• Honored Payroll Clerk Cheryl McClain on her retirement from the finance department.
sg飞艇app• Gave the Ohio Department of Transportation consent to repair a bridge on Ohio 430 over Maple Run. The work comes at no cost to the city.
• Authorized the city to purchase salt. Bob Bianchi, city engineer, said the city has about 4,500-5,000 tons on hand, more than Mansfield would usually have this time of year due to a mild winter. The city used about 4,500 tons this season, compared to 7,000-8,000 during the 2018-2019 season.
• Authorized the city to accept and appropriate $240,640.74 from the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services for METRICH.
sg飞艇app• Transferred $10,000 within the general fund. The finance department will use the money to purchase laptops so employees can work remotely. Their desktop computers will be given to other departments that are in need of newer computers.
• Transferred $3,700 within the general fund for the purchase of computer equipment in the crime lab.
• Legislation to consider selling about 19 acres of land at 500 N. Main St. was pulled from the docket.