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

As of July 15, 2013 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.

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.

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.

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.  Please note that as a result of a December 19, 2012 amendment to the City of Cincinnati ordinance governing the tax abatement program, there are differences in how the tax abatement applies to properties with substantially complete building permits/plans received by the Department of Buildings and Inspections on or before January 31, 2013 and properties with substantially complete building permits/plans that are received after this date.  

New Construction

 

Substantially Complete Building Permits Received On or Before January 31, 2013

Substantially Complete Building Permits Received After January 31, 2013

 

Maximum Abatement

Term

Maximum Abatement

Term

Non-LEED Certified

$309,515

10

$275,000

10

LEED Certified

$562,792

15

$275,000

15

LEED Silver

$562,792

15

$400,000

15

LEED Gold

$562,792

15

$562,000

15

LEED Platinum

No Limit

15

No Limit

15

 

  Substantially Complete Building Permits Received On or Before January 31, 2013 Substantially Complete Building Permits Received After January 31, 2013

Annual Increase

The maximum abatement increases 3% at the start of each year (Jan 1).

The maximum abatement does not increase at the start of each year.

Eligibility

Real property must be within the City of Cincinnati.

Owners of condominiums and one-, two-, or three-unit residential structure are eligible to apply.  

Tax is paid only on the land and the value of the property that exceeds the maximum abatement.

Real property must be within the City of Cincinnati.

Owners of condominiums and one-, two-, or three-unit residential structure are eligible to apply.  

Tax is paid only on the land and the value of the property that exceeds the maximum abatement.

 

Renovation

 

Substantially Complete Building Permits Received On or Before January 31, 2013

Substantially Complete Building Permits Received After January 31, 2013

 

Maximum Abatement

Term

Maximum Abatement

Term

Non-LEED Certified

$309,515

10

$275,000

10

LEED Certified

$562,792

10

$275,000

10

LEED Silver

$562,792

10

$400,000

10

LEED Gold

$562,792

10

$562,000

10

LEED Platinum

No Limit

10

No Limit

10

 

 

Substantially Complete Building Permits Received On or Before January 31, 2013

Substantially Complete Building Permits Received After January 31, 2013

Minimum Cost

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

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

Annual Increase

The maximum abatement increases 3% at the start of each year (Jan 1).

The maximum abatement does not increase at the start of each year.

Eligibility

Real property must be within the City of Cincinnati.

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

 Real property must be within the City of Cincinnati.

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

Example

For example, if the owner of a $75,000 home makes $25,000 in taxable improvements, 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, the portion of the tax by which the remodeling increased the value of the structure may be abated up to a maximum $309,515 market value.

For example, if the owner of a $75,000 home makes $25,000 in taxable improvements, 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.