RACINE — The village of Racine is approaching the three-year mark as a Community Reinvestment Act area.
In November 2013, Racine was approved through the Ohio Development Services Area for the program, which allows for those building in the area or conducting certain renovations to receive tax incentives up to and including 10-year tax exempt status on property taxes.
The Ohio Community Reinvestment Area program is an economic development tool administered by municipal and county government that provides real property tax exemptions for property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings. CRAs are areas of land in which property owners can receive tax incentives for investing in real property improvements.
This program permits municipalities or counties to designate areas where investment has been discouraged as a CRA to encourage revitalization of the existing housing stock and the development of new structures. Local municipalities or counties can determine the type of development to be supported by the CRA program by specifying the eligibility of residential, commercial and/or industrial projects.
Racine Mayor Scott Hill explained that, to date, the CRA program, which is available for residential or business properties in the village, had been utilized four times. Hill said the program has likely not been utilized more as people do not know it is available.
One of the four to utilize the program is the Sycamore Way development in the business area.
According to the CRA agreement on the Ohio Development Services Area website, the Sycamore Way project included a $579,000 investment and received a 100 percent real property tax exemption for 15 years. Of the $579,000, $200,000 was considered new payroll, while $379,000 was real property. The agreement expires at the end of 2029.
In an effort to develop more new residential properties in the village that would qualify for the CRA, RPG Management is developing an area off Yellow Bush Road and Walnut Street that will be sectioned into lots ranging from .25 acres to 1.5 acres. A total of 12 acres is being section off at this time for development in the area. Water and sewer connections will be on the sites. The sites would require structures that are built on site. Connolly Excavating is currently completing the ground work on the site.
The new development area is located near Star Mill Park and the boat levy area.
Chris Roush, of RPG Management, explained that in addition to the lots of the 12 acres, larger lots of approximately 10 acres will also be sectioned off. There is a total of 78 acres to be developed, with the back end of the property, including a road through the area, to extend out to Tornado Road near the Bashan Road intersection.
A site plan is currently being developed to provide a visual representation of the area and how it is to be divided and developed.
Additionally, new roadways are being constructed in that area, including a cul de sec which will provide access to some of the properties and a roadway connecting from the Walnut Street/Yellowbush Road area to Tornado Road.
Hill stated that on a property in which the taxes would be $2,000 a year, the CRA would mean a savings of $20,000 over the 10-year period. Additionally, there would be a savings of installation of a septic system as the properties will have sewer system hook-ups.
Hill explained that when the village implemented the CRA, the goal was to have new homeowners come into the village, changing the demographic and adding new growth, development and population. This would also benefit the school district as families coming to the area could mean additional students for the schools. It could also bring in younger property owners to the village.
In addition to the residential property in the Yellowbush Road and Walnut Street area, there is commercially zoned property across from Dollar General which could be developed and be included in the CRA program. Businesses are reviewed to determine the exact amount and terms of the tax incentives.
The only other CRA program listed as having been in place in Meigs County was in Middleport in the 1980s. The site states that no applications for that program were to be accepted after Aug. 26, 1991.
For more information on the CRA, contact the mayor’s office at 740-949-2296. For information about the property sites, contact RPG Management at 740-992-0059.