Cincinnati Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) Residential Tax Abatement

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City of Cincinnati Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) Residential Tax Abatement

When you build a new home or invest in renovations, your property taxes can go up.  The City of Cincinnati’s Residential Property Tax Abatement makes it possible for property owners to minimize the taxes they pay.  The Abatement allows owners to pay taxes just on the pre-improvement value of their property for 10-15 years.   Property tax abatement is available for any increased valuation that results from improvements to the property for new construction and renovation.

house example for CRA residential abatement pageThe Residential Property Tax Abatement Program aims to:

  • Stimulate Community Revitalization
  • Retain City Residents
  • Attract Homeowners
  • Reduce Development Costs for Homeownership and Rental Projects

Download Application

 

LEED: Longer abatement terms and/or higher maximum abatements may be available for properties that meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.  LEED standards are—in increasing order—Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.  Additional information regarding obtaining LEED certification may be found on the U.S. Green Building Council website: www.usgbc.org.

VISITABILITY:  Longer abatement terms may be available for properties that meet City of Cincinnati Visitability Standards.  Visitability is a concept that encourages the construction and renovation of residences to enable mobility-impaired persons to visit persons in their homes without undue obstacles. To receive the Visitability Certification bonus, property owner must initiate the Visitability Certification process at the beginning of the permit application process with the Department of Planning and Buildings.    

Additional information regarding City of Cincinnati Visitability Standards is available at the link below.

City of Cincinnati Visitability Standards

Tax abatement benefits stay with the property the entire length of the abatement and transfer to any new property owner within the approved time period.

A $75.00 application fee must be submitted for each application.  Make check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to “City of Cincinnati”.  Include the property address and “Residential Tax Abatement Application” on the memo line.  Cash and credit cards are not accepted.  Applications will not be processed until proper application fee is received.  Because the fee offsets the administrative costs of processing applications, the application fee will not be refunded if the application is denied.

Approval

All condominiums and one-, two-, or three-unit structures within the City of Cincinnati—new construction or rehab—may apply for the tax abatement program. A minimum of $2500 for one- and two-unit structures and $5000 for three-unit structures must have been spent on eligible activities. The Hamilton County Auditor's Office determines the abatement amount based on the type of improvements.

For residential developments that are four units or greater, mixed-use buildings, commercial, and industrial structures, see Commercial Tax Exemption.

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.   

An annual exterior inspection is required for all new and existing tax abatements to ensure that the property is being properly maintained.  New tax abatement applications may be subject to an exterior inspection prior to final approval by the Department of Community Development.  If building code violations are observed, the application will be denied.  Properties will current abatements will have their tax abatement revoked if violations are placed against the property and the violations are not promptly resolved. CRA opening door

Please allow four weeks for the City of Cincinnati to respond to your application.  Once the City has qualified the property for the program, your application will be forwarded to the Hamilton County Auditor’s Office for certification and valuation.  A letter from the Hamilton County Auditor's Office will be received after the Auditor's appraisal has been completed. This could take several months. 

For more information, contact the Department of Community Development at 513-352-6146 or communitydevelopment@cincinnati-oh.gov.  

For additional information on how the tax abatement is applied to newly constructed and renovated homes, please consult the tables below. 

Single-Family, Two, Three Dwelling-Unit Structure, or Residential Condominium

 

Renovation

New Construction

Visitable

Non-Visitable

Visitable

Non-Visitable

Not LEED Certified

Max Abatement*

$275,000

$275,000

$275,000

$275,000

Term (years)

10

10

12

10

LEED Certified

 

Max Abatement*

$275,000

$275,000

$275,000

$275,000

Term (years)

10

10

15

15

LEED Silver

 

Max Abatement*

$400,000

$400,000

$400,000

$400,000

Term (years)

10

10

15

15

LEED Gold

 

Max Abatement*

$562,000

$562,000

$562,000

$562,000

Term (years)

10

10

15

15

LEED Platinum

 

Max Abatement*

No Limit

No Limit

No Limit

No Limit

Term (years)

10

10

15

15

Minimum Cost

$2,500 for one- and two-unit structures and $5,000 for three unit structures.

Eligibility

Real property must be within the City of Cincinnati.

Rehabbed condominiums, one-, two-, and three-unit dwellings qualify as well as condo conversions.

The renovation abatement is 100% of the property’s increased value, up to the maximum abatement value listed above.

It should be noted that some types of remodeling do not increase taxable value. Improvements to the house itself, garage, in-ground pool, decks and patios qualify for abatement. Any improvement for making a building more structurally sound, more habitable, or for improving the structure is eligible. 

Roofing, vinyl siding, windows, gutters and painting may improve the condition of the house but may not increase the taxable value of the property. Landscaping, retaining walls, driveways and the like do not qualify for the abatement.

Visitability Bonus

Visitability is a concept that encourages the construction and renovation of residences to enable mobility-impaired persons to visit persons in their homes without undue obstacles. 

To receive the Visitability Certification bonus, property owner must initiate the Visitability Certification process at the beginning of the permit application process with the Department of Planning and Buildings.  At final permit inspection, a building inspector will verify whether the applicant has met Cincinnati Visitability Standards.  If the inspector determines that the structure does meet Cincinnati Visitability Standards, the building inspector will indicate this on the final Certificate of Occupancy.

It was not possible to create across-the-board Visitability incentives under the CRA program because the City already offers the maximum abatement term for certain categories of construction and remodeling work.

LEED Certification

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificates are issued by the U.S. Green Building Council. A copy of your LEED For Homes Certificate MUST accompany a request for the LEED abatement.  Additional information regarding this program may be found at the U.S. Green Building Council website.  (www.usgbc.org)

Example

For example, if the owner of a $75,000 home makes $25,000 in taxable improvements that are not subject to the Visitability Bonus, the owner is only responsible for taxes based on the home's value prior to improvements, plus or minus changes due to reappraisals, triennials, and/or tax levies for a period of 10 years. If the project is not LEED-certified at the Silver Level or above, the portion of the tax by which the remodeling increased the value of the structure may be abated up to a maximum $275,000 market value.