'Balanced Development' A Priority For Cincinnati Council

Dec 2, 2019

Cities around the country deal with the same issue: offering the right amount of incentives to developers to complete projects in their cities without giving away too much.  

Cincinnati officials recently released a 60-page report on "balanced development," and council is reviewing it.  

Council Member Greg Landsman plans to offer a motion Wednesday to adopt some of the recommendations in the report. His motion is still being drafted, so the specifics are not yet final.

"...We do need to incentivize and support them in one way or the other," Landsman said. "Many of these projects need that additional support. But that there are things that we could be doing beyond what we already are to lift up local residents, local businesses, and to ensure that more people in more neighborhoods are benefiting from these investments."

The city's report discusses measures to increase affordable housing, prevent displacement and eviction, and create more job opportunities with inclusion for minority and local small businesses.

Landsman also said his motion will address the tax abatement agreement between the city and Cincinnati Public Schools.  

That 1999 agreement expires at the end of the year, and both sides have so far been unable to reach a new deal.  

That blanket agreement allows the city to offer property tax abatements to developers working on commercial projects in the city, and in return those developers make PILOT (payments in lieu of taxes) payments to the school for 25-27% of the abate value.

The city and school district are at odds over the percentage of those PILOT payments and the length of a new abatement agreement.