Cincinnati Looks To Expand Economic Development Tool

Oct 14, 2019

Cincinnati officials are proposing to expand a program that captures increased tax revenue from private economic development to pay for public improvements in some city neighborhoods.

Right now the city has 20 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts and is proposing to create 15 new ones.  The original ones were created in 2002 and 2005.

"A TIF district is a tool for cities, counties or townships to capture the tax revenue created by increases in property values for use on public improvements including infrastructure and housing," wrote City Manager Patrick Duhaney in a memo. "After a district is put into place, any increases to property values in the district contribute to a public infrastructure fund for the benefit of that district."

The city has not established any new districts since 2005 because officials believed state law prevented the creation of any new districts.  

But now after working with the West End, who made a request for TIF district to create housing, the city has done more research and determined it is feasible to create additional TIF districts that met the requirements of state law.

The administration is proposing 15 new districts for: Camp Washington, College Hill, East End/Columbia Tusculum, Mt. Airy, Mt. Auburn, North Fairmount, Northside, Pleasant Ridge, Riverside, Roselawn, South Cumminsville, South Fairmount, Spring Grove Village, West End and Westwood.

"The administration is recommending that all 15 TIF districts be put into place prior to the of 2019 as the triennial property reassessments is ongoing, so that any property increases resulting from the investments in these districts may create increment available for public infrastructure or housing needs with the TIF districts in the 2020 tax year," the memo said.

Money generated in the current TIF districts have helped pay for infrastructure at The Banks, streetscaping projects and public garages.  
 
A city council committee will hold a public hearing on Nov. 13 to discuss the new TIF districts.  It's possible the full council will vote on Dec. 18 after a 30-day wait period required by state law.

The city's current TIF districts include: Downtown, Over-the-Rhine, Carthage, Walnut Hills, East Walnut Hills, Clifton Heights, Corryville, Bond Hill, Evanston, West Price Hill, East Price Hill, Lower Price Hill, Sedamsville, Westwood, Madisonville, Oakley and Avondale.