Sunday, March 18, 2007

connecting the dots, doing simple math, just noticing, just wondering

Taxing balance Abatement reviewed: From the SunNEWS on March 15th, with my emphasis added. The SunNEWS quote is italicized:

"Cleveland's existing citywide residential property tax abatement law was renewed in 1999 and is set to expire June 15. A separate abatement law for downtown won't expire until 2010. Cleveland began offering residential tax abatement, at 100 percent for seven years, for new downtown construction in 1987.
In the decade prior, new housing construction in Cleveland was almost non-existent. In some years, fewer than 20 homes were built. After 1987, the pace quickened. It accelerated in 1991 when the use of tax abatement was expanded citywide, offering a 100 percent abatement over 15 years. The abatement applies only to structures, not land.
Since then, 11,259 residential units were built, according to a 2007 study by Cleveland State University's College of Urban Affairs. The study also showed 60 percent of people buying tax-abated housing are coming from outside Cleveland. "

The forecast for 2007 is that Cleveland will have between 10,000 and 12,000 vacant or abandoned properties, which can be accounted for nearly directly by the 11,259 tax-abated new properties. The overall Cleveland population is less now than what it was in 1991. Where is the benefit? Where exactly is the gain? What is the loss?

Nobody's doing the simple math. Nobody's talking straight talk.

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