Tax Abatements for Business…..costing public schools?

Thanks to Lobbyist Kirsten for this article on how the tax abatement policy for businesses have impacted Ohio’s public schools.  This article provides a great deal of detail, and may be a bit overwhelming.

“Property tax abatements caused 180 school districts across Ohio to forgo $125.6 million in revenue, according to financial reports the districts issued covering the 2017 fiscal year. With $43.8 million, or a little more than a third of that amount, schools across the state could refill the positions of 662 librarians whose positions were eliminated between the 2005-2006 school year and 2016-2017.[1] That demonstrates that while the forgone revenue from tax abatement is relatively small compared to total K-12 spending, it’s still quite meaningful.” (emphasis added by LFC – note that there are over 600 schools districts in Ohio, most of the impact is in the large metropolitan areas)

Programs available to local governments to promote economic development:

“Most of the disclosures report on property tax abatements under two major such programs available under state law, the Enterprise Zone (EZ) and Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) programs. ”

“Enterprise zones (EZs) and Community Reinvestment Areas (CRAs) are two of the major programs available to local governments to reduce taxes that would otherwise be due in order to support economic development.”

“Under tax increment financing (TIF), payments on the additional value of a property undergoing development are diverted from the general fund for a period of time to uses exclusively within the TIF district, sometimes to build infrastructure supporting the development and sometimes for other purposes.”

(LFC Comment: While researching the Concord Township finances, we did see that TIF’s are being used to spur economic development.    We agree with the article when it states that total transparency is needed on this issue.)



Categories: Education

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