We could debate all day about whether or not developing Meadowbrook-Lee is a good idea. But that is really beside the point.
Cleveland Heights City Council is asking for approval from the CH-UH Board of Education for an 11-year 80% tax abatement on the proposed project.
Two troubling questions arise that will affect all of us financially:
1. Should the city GIVE a developer a piece of property that has over $1 million of public money invested in it? These tax dollars were used to ready it for market, not to give it away.
2. Should a tax abatement be provided to the developer?
Here’s the breakdown of how our tax dollars were spent on this property.
- Purchase Ohio Savings $60,000 plus transfer costs.
Purchase Clancy’s gas station: $205,000 plus transfer costs
Purchase 3 residential properties on Tullamore: $320,000
Environmental remediation grant to city: $400,000
PUSTR Funds (not tax dollars) for remediation of underground storage tank issues. $147,600.
Total tax dollars: $985,000.
Total money invested in the land thus far: $985,000 + $147,600=$1,112,600
It should be noted that this proposal includes the first time that the city has offered BOTH a COMMERCIAL and RESIDENTIAL tax abatement.
Giving a COMMERCIAL tax abatement is a dangerous precedent. If we say yes to Orlean Company, how can we say no to anyone else?
Tax abatements shift the economic burden off the developer and on to everyone else who pays taxes. The proposed tax abatement of $3,080,000 is $154.35 for each of the 19,954 households in Cleveland Heights. (This $154.35 does not include the value of the land.)
We all know that our school district needs all the money it can get. Now and in the next few years while it implements its building plan.
My husband and I are not willing to write a check to the Orlean Company for $154.35.
Please contact the Board of Education and tell them you oppose this tax abatement and ask them to vote it down.
P.S. I am proud to introduce Meadow Brooklee, a drawing inspired by the Orlean Company’s statement (English majors be prepared to cringe): "Municipally owned land on the east side of Lee Road, between Tullamore and Lee Roads has sat fallow for several years”.
Artist Ralph Solonitz put his intriguing mind and talented hands to work and drew a picture of Meadow Brooklee “sitting fallow”. To see more of Ralph’s wonderful drawings, visit his Facebook page.