School Boards Have Real Power Over Your Pocketbook

Brian Massie, Citizen Journalist

When I sat before the Lake County Board of Review to request a devaluation of my property in order to reduce my property taxes, the Riverside School Board had a lawyer present in the meeting to ensure that their interests were best served.

A word to the wise, if you do try to get your property taxes lowered, you would be well served to get a professional appraisal of your property. Trying to justify it on your own can be problematic and discouraging. Remember, no one associated with government is really interested in lowering your taxes.


Thanks to our Willoughby lobbyist for sending us this information on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) , Enterprise Zone Agreement (EZA) , and Community Reinvestment Area (CRA)

Tax Incentive “Cheat Sheet” for Ohio School Districts

by Gary Stedronsky | Feb 3, 2015 | School Finance

Below is a quick reference guide to the most common types of property tax incentives.  We’ve also specified when board of education approval is required prior to an incentive being awarded by a local government.  Understanding this is very important because boards of education can request to be compensated for lost tax revenue in exchange for approving an incentive.  In many cases, we are able to negotiate a deal with a local government or business where a board of education realizes no loss in revenue at all.

 Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

  • Local governments use this inventive to finance public infrastructure improvements that benefit private development
  • Exemption Term – Up to 100% for 30 years
    • BOE Approval Required – if more than 75% is exempted and more than 10 years

Enterprise Zone Agreement (EZA)

  • Designated zones within a governmental jurisdiction where businesses receive tax exemptions on eligible new investments
  • Exemption Term – Up to 100% for 30 years
    • City Provided Incentive
      • BOE Approval Required – if more than 75% is exempted and more than 10 Years
    • County/Township Provided Incentive
      • BOE Approval Required – if more than 60% is exempted and more than 10 years

Community Reinvestment Area (CRA)

  • Allows property owners (primarily residential property) within certain areas where investment has been discouraged to receive tax exemptions for investing in real property improvements
  • Exemption Term – Up to 100% for 10-15 Years depending on type of remodeling or construction
  • CRA Created Before July 1, 1994
    • BOE has no approval authority
  • CRA Created After July 1, 1994
    • Commercial & Industrial Property
      • BOE Approval Required – if more than 50% is exempted
    • Residential Property
      • BOE has no approval authority


LFC Comments: We were curious how many TIF’s are in existence in Lake County so we asked our ever helpful Auditor’s office.

Here is a list of all 648 TIF’s:



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Categories: Education, Lake, Lake County - General, Ohio Counties, Real Estate Taxes


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