Would ending Cleveland's construction incentives solve pressing issues?

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - With all the building going on in certain Cleveland neighborhoods, many people are asking if tax breaks for developers are still needed and would we be able to pay for more police without them?

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelly says "Yes...but for this tool would this development have happened, would people want to build in the city of Cleveland?"

Examples include:

Quarter apartments, going up at West 25th and Detroit Avenue.  A massive, tax abated project now underway.

The Edison on the Shoreway is tax abated and is already populated with taxpaying people. However, the residents will only pay taxes on their land not the structure on it. Their home values won't be taxed for 15 years.

People who spoke to Cleveland19 aren't fans ot the tax breaks.

"Everybody has to pay taxes, no ifs, ands or buts about it," said one resident.

"It shouldn't matter if you build a building or not," said another resident against the tax abatement.

Kelly's view is different.

"The goal of the program is to bring real estate values to bring the city of Cleveland to a point where you can build without tax abatements," he said.

Cleveland City Council has done studies that show the city is improving but housing development will stall without tax abatements.

We haven't yet reached peak housing construction.

A question that might be asked is whether tax abatements are needed in prospering neighborhoods.

Gordon Square and the Detroit Shoreway are booming.  Without tax abatements would the building boom go bust?

The Cleveland program is old enough now where a lot of the units that had been tax abated originally are coming off the rolls and paying full taxes.

"That's very beneficial because without this there would have been no taxes," said Kelly.

That means the city is at the end of the lean years, and some of the newly flowing taxes are beginning to pay for services.

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