Licking County News

May 30 workshop to cover property-improvement perks

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Pataskala officials will explain the city's three community-reinvestment areas to residents at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30, in Pataskala City Council chambers at City Hall.

City Council approved legislation last year to establish CRA boundaries in the old village center on Main Street, in Columbia Center and in Summit Station.

The CRAs allow property owners to receive tax abatements for improving existing structures or building new homes or businesses.

Finance Director James Nicholson said the city has prepared a list of commonly asked questions about CRAs that will be handed out at the meeting. He also will have CRA application forms available.

The minimum investment in a single-family home for the CRAs is $2,500 and the minimum investment in a commercial improvement or new building is $5,000.

Residents who invest in their properties would not have to pay taxes on the investment for 10 years, but single-family homes that are improved must be occupied by the owner.

Business owners who invest in existing properties would not have to pay taxes on the investment for 12 years and those who build new structures would not have to pay taxes on the investment for 15 years, according to the city.

The objective is to encourage property owners to improve what they own.

The draft CRA questions include the following example documenting a residential improvement:

"A property owner has a home currently valued at $70,000 by the Licking County Auditor. The owner invests $30,000 in major improvements to the property, which would otherwise cause the value of the property to increase to $85,000 (by $15,000). It is important to note that the abatement is based upon the value of the improvements and not the costs. ... The Licking County Auditor's Office would reduce the revised taxable assessed valuation of the property by $15,000, leaving it back at the $70,000. As a result, no additional taxes would be assessed on the improved property for 10 years."

The city also has posted information about CRAs on its website, www.ci.pataskala.oh.us.

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