YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The city of Youngstown has been looking for ways to get people to move back into the city and now, if they build new, they won’t have to pay property taxes for 15 years.
It’s called a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) and in some cases could mean a savings of $20,000.
There’s space for new businesses to open and existing ones to expand along Andrews Avenue. Along Sheridan Road, existing homes could also be expanded and new ones could be built along its side streets.
“I think expanding the CRA to all neighborhoods helps the whole city as a whole,” said Community Development Director Beverly Hosey.
CRAs were created by the Ohio legislature.
At its last meeting, Youngstown City Council approved making the whole city a CRA.
“It’s going to help stabilize our neighborhoods. It’s going to hopefully entice either current homeowners to renovate or remodel their homes or bring in new investment, have new construction start happening here in the city,” said 7th Ward Councilwoman Basia Adamczak.
With being a CRA, anyone building a new house or constructing a new commercial building in Youngstown would not have to pay property taxes for 15 years. If someone puts $5,000 or more into remodeling an existing home or building, they would not pay property taxes on the increase in the assessed value for 15 years.
“Other places like Cincinnati, Ohio, where we had a chance to spend time with the mayor there and found out how important it was for an investment into their city and how they have seen growth after,” said Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown.
The city of Columbiana also created a CRA three years ago. Houses there are being built.
“It actually sparked a big housing boom, so we’re hoping we’re going to be able to do that here as well,” Adamczak said.
Hosey admits that not a lot of people know about the property tax advantages. She hopes that changes.
“You know, we’ve got some ways that we’re going to get it out to the public because I think this is something that people, once they know about it, they’re going to be interested,” Hosey said.