More home improvements in Springfield could qualify for tax abatement

Under the Springfield’s CRA (Community Reinvestment Areas) plan, some improvements that would qualify for tax abatement include large projects like new construction or renovations and smaller projects such as building a new porch, installing a sunroom or remodeling a basement or attic. Bill Lackey/Staff
Under the Springfield’s CRA (Community Reinvestment Areas) plan, some improvements that would qualify for tax abatement include large projects like new construction or renovations and smaller projects such as building a new porch, installing a sunroom or remodeling a basement or attic. Bill Lackey/Staff

The Community Improvement Corporation of Springfield and Clark County has endorsed a plan that would make a large area of Springfield cheaper to build or upgrade residential properties.

The CIC has endorsed a plan for expanding Springfield’s existing Community Reinvestment Areas into one large area instead of nine smaller sections. Under the plan, the city can award a 100 percent tax abatement to property owners who choose to build new or improve existing residential structures in designated CRA areas.

Bryan Heck, Springfield City Manager, presented the expansion plan to the CIC last week. He said the expansion should help bring development to the area.

“This should help encourage residents to make improvements on their homes,” Heck said.

With the CIC’s endorsement of the CRA expansion, the proposal now moves to the City Commission. The Commission will review the proposal on March 12 at City Hall. If approved it will be presented to the state of Ohio.

“Once the state approves the proposal it will take effect immediately,” Heck said.

According to Ohio’s Development Services Agency’s website, the CRA program is described as a direct incentive tax exemption program benefiting property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings.

Because the program permits municipalities or counties to designate areas where investment has been previously discouraged, CRA encourages revitalization of the existing housing stock and the development of new structures.

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The tax abatement stays with the property for the duration of the abatement, which under Springfield’s CRA plan is 15 years, even if the property is sold.

The only requirement to be included in the CRA program is to have a new or renovated structure within the designated areas.

Springfield has nine CRA designated areas scattered throughout the city. Under the proposed newly endorsed plan, all nine areas would connect, creating one large CRA.

To find out if a property is in one of the reinvestment areas, contact the residential housing office at 973-328-3480 or go to the Clark County GIS site.

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Examples of improvements that may qualify to increase the assessed value of property include building a new porch, installing a sunroom, converting a basement or attic into a living space, building additions to an existing structure, gutting and renovating a home or apartment building, building or enlarging a garage, installing an indoor fireplace, and adding bathrooms, or other new construction projects.

Improvements that will not qualify for a tax abatement include adding light fixtures, painting, remodeling a kitchen, replacing a hot water heater, doing sidewalk work, or adding a swimming pool, awnings or aluminum siding.