Warren County commissioners laid the groundwork on Tuesday to forgive taxes for the commercial or industrial developers of some of the last large parcels of undeveloped land along the Interstate 75 corridor between Dayton and Cincinnati.
Commissioners Dave Young expressed reluctance about setting up the community investment area enabling tax breaks to be offered on development of more than 1,200 acres east of the I-75 interchange at Ohio 63.
“This is prime real estate, five minutes off the highway. It’s going to develop,” Young said.
However Young agreed with Economic Development Director Matthew Schnipke that the county needed the economic development tool in its toolbox in negotiating for top companies shopping for new places to bring expansions and quality jobs.
“If we want to be a player in those games, sometimes you’ve got to play the game,” Young said.
With Commissioner Shannon Jones absent, Young and Commissioner Tom Grossmann voted to establish the tax abatement zone on prison land envisioned for development and farm property southeast of the Union Village planned community on Ohio 741 in Turtlecreek Twp.
The land is located near two state prisons, the Miami Valley Gaming & Racing racino and Park North Commerce Park, where Amazon and other businesses have already set up large distribution centers east of the interchange.
More than 1,100 acres is undeveloped prison land the county and development interests want the state to sell. About 162 acres on Ohio 741 is owned by Margaret White, according to county property records.
After the meeting, Deputy Administrator Martin Russell said the farmland and a deteriorating home on it were included in the zone in order to qualify it for incentives in state law for community reinvestments.
Tax abatements of up to 75 percent for 15 years can be offered in deals bringing industrial or commercial developments.
The tax breaks would likely be offered in combination with a joint economic development district enabling unincorporated Turtlecreek Twp. to collect income tax.
“It’s a good tool to to have in the toolbox,” Schnipke said.