PDT Staff Writer
President of Portsmouth City Council, John Haas, says he will ask Mayor David Malone to add to his conference agenda Monday night an ordinance dealing with residential, commercial and industrial tax abatement.
The ordinance states: “The City of Portsmouth Department of Community Development’s Community Reinvestment Area Tax Abatement Program encourages rehabilitation and new construction of structures through property tax incentives. Property tax abatement is available for any increased valuation that results from the improvements to the property for both new construction and renovation. Single family homes, condominiums with two or more unit residential structures and commercial or industrial structures within the City of Portsmouth are eligible for the tax abatement.”
The ordinance calls for an annual inspection to be required for all new and existing tax abatements to ensure that the property is being properly maintained. If building code violations are placed against the property and the violations are not resolved, the tax abatement will be revoked.
It goes on to say new tax abatement applications and plans may be subject to inspection prior to final approval by the Department of Community Development.
Real Estate Tax abatement is the temporary elimination of increased real property taxes and Haas said the goal of the program is to stimulate community revitalization, retain city residents, attract homeowners and businesses to the City of Portsmouth, and to reduce development costs for home ownership, rental projects, commercial and industrial structures.
According to the ordinance, the incentives are that owners pay less property tax. The savings may be used for other purposes like green designs to reduce energy costs.
Haas said the program provides a benefit for residents who improve their homes and encourages home shoppers and businesses to buy in the city of Portsmouth. The tax abatement benefits stay with the property the entire length of the abatement and will transfer to any new property owner within that period.
Haas said the program benefits the City by eventually returning new or rehabbed properties to the tax rolls and providing relief to blighted areas and neighborhoods. And he said the program provides incentives to businesses to renovate existing structures and new commercial/industrial businesses to locate to the City which will bring construction and other commercial/industrial jobs to Portsmouth.
The ordinance specifies that the new commercial construction abatement term is up to five years on vacant lots and seven years on lots where an old structure will be demolished to allow the new structure, 100 percent abatement up to $150,000 market value per dwelling unit or $300,000 for commercial or industrial construction. This amount increases 3 percent at the start of each year (January 1, 2014). The tax must be paid on land.
The narration also gives specific details on how new construction of single family residential structures are eligible and gives the same information for businesses and industries.
All structures within the City of Portsmouth, new construction or rehab, are entitled to the tax abatement. The Scioto County Auditor’s Office will determine the abatement amount based on the type of improvements. A letter from the Scioto County Auditor’s Office will be received after the Auditor’s appraisal has been completed. This could take several months.
The period for tax abatement begins with the date of documented completion of work. An increase or decrease in taxes during the abatement period may result when voted changes in tax rates, state-mandated reappraisals, or updates reflecting neighborhood trends are adopted.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com