Condo tax abatement determined
Residents of the Gateway Project condominiums will receive a 70-percent property tax abatement for 15 years beginning in 2010.
They may either accept the abatement as an annual 70-percent discount or they may arrange with the mayor for a tiered payment schedule.
In the tiered schedule, the resident would receive an average of 70-percent over 15 years, but would pay no taxes for the first few years.
After that, they would gradually pay more and more until they received no abatement.
Seventy-percent is an increase from the 50-percent abatement that the city originally granted to the property, but a decrease from the 100-percent abatement that developer Larry Ruben requested.
While the commercial portion of the Gateway Project has thrived, only five of the 36 residential units have sold.
Ruben requested the full abatement to help market the condos.
The proposal garnered much attention from Bexley residents who crowded council meetings to debate the issue.
Proponents argued that it would benefit the city over time because it would attract other residential developers and more residents would equate to more business for the Main Street shops.
Opponents said it would take money from the school district and that it was unfair to the other residents of Bexley who pay their taxes.
“I don’t believe we are taking away from any entity,” Council President Matt Lampke said.
The ordinance just means that the school district must wait to fully benefit from the increased property values, Lampke said.
School Board President Andy Sutter told the council filling the vacancies is important.
“The worst-case scenario is for those facilities to remain vacant,” he said. “In a prefect world, every single tax dollar would be available to the schools.”
In addition to the Gateway condominiums, the ordinance sets guidelines for future residential property tax abatements.
To receive a 70-percent abatement for 15 years, a condo developer must invest an average of $300,000 per unit.
The number reflects the building costs, not the retail value of the finished home.
Upon Sutter’s recommendation, the council amended the ordinance to also require a developer to build a minimum of 25 units.
Additionally, the ordinance provides tax abatements for smaller projects.
If a developer builds 10 or more condos with an average building cost of $150,000, residents would receive a 50-percent abatement for five years.
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