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Reviewing Cincinnati's policies for tax abatements and incentives

Cincinnati officials often get many questions about offering tax breaks and incentives to companies to bring jobs and businesses to the city.  

Council's Rules and Audit Committee got an overview Tuesday of such programs and the results.  

Jeff McElravy is the Interim Director of the city's Trade and Development Department.  He described the balance with offering company's job creation tax credits.

"Generally the credit will be structured in a way to insure that it is sufficient to induce the company to locate in the city, but hopefully not anymore," McElravy said.  "That's always a fine line to walk."

McElravy said the goal is to ensure a positive return to the city as a result of the incentive.

Council Member Kevin Flynn said it may be time for Council to review the various programs to make sure they still make sense and are working.  

"But we've not taken that look as a Council recently to say you know 'when is the pump primed enough with these incentives,'" Flynn said.  "Or is it that we are forever going to be needing to do these incentives to get people to locate in the city."

Meanwhile, the full Council will vote Wednesday on a lease and development agreement with the Model Group for a mixed-use development with apartments, office and retail space near Findlay Market.  The Budget and Finance committee approved the proposal Tuesday during a special meeting.