Warren County commissioners approved a community reinvestment area on Tuesday for 178 acres west of Ohio 48 in Hamilton Twp.
The agreement sets the stage for the township and school board to negotiate a tax sharing agreement for commercial or industrial development of the former SUMCO industrial site off Grandin Road, officials said.
The township is working with the owners of the property, the Rippe family and Joe Geraci, on a development there, Community Development Coordinator Michelle Tegtmeier said.
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The formation of the reinvestment area comes after land, including the former Peters Cartridge Factory development, was annexed by South Lebanon, as part of an agreement for the developer to get a tax abatement on this development, costing the Little Miami Schools tax revenue on developments.
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The abatements granted in the new area would be 50 to 100 percent for up to 15 years.
Commissioner Shannon Jones noted property taxes have dwindled on the land since SUMCO left the site eight years ago.
Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Bruce McGary said the resolution establishing the reinvestment area set up a process including the school district “at the table” for negotiations of more than 50 percent in property tax breaks.
The former SUMCO complex is expected to be demolished in anticipation of new development on the industrial site.
Commissioner Dave Young specified that tax incentives would not be used to subsidize residential development.
“The main purpose is to drive commercial, industrial,” said Matthew Schnipke of the county economic development office.
The area also enables Hamilton Twp. “to be competitive with other areas,” including South Lebanon and other cities capable of offering similar incentives in exchange for annexation from the township.
The tax abatement agreements are more lucrative for cities and villages, which collect earning tax from businesses, unless a township is part of joint economic development district with such taxing authority.
“We really think this would be a kick-start,” Tegtmeier said, creating a better tax base for the heavily residential township, south of Lebanon and west of Mason. “Right now, we have nothing.”
Young said he typically opposes creating tax incentive areas through which communities compete with each other.
But Young noted in this case it gave Hamilton Twp. a tool it could use to prevent annexation of potential economic development.