Marc Lefkowitz | 11/14/07 @ 5:12pm
When has the pump been sufficiently primed to consider ending or amending tax abatements? Ask real estate developers and 'populists' and expect to get different answers.
Yes, having some revenue from transfer taxes (when the properties are bought) and wage taxes (from new residents) is better than no tax on an abandoned lot. But, when the pump has been primed and the real estate market is booming, when is enough tax abatement enough?
Some cities had the foresight to anticipate that abatements are like a drug, and kicking the habit is harder said than done. In Houston, Des Moines, Fort Wayne and elsewhere, tax abatements are conditional, sometimes on the health of the market. Let's really examine the options and decide on the best course of action for Cleveland's tax abatement policy.