CLINTON — Clinton residents who live in a certain area of town may soon see tax relief for new construction.
The Clinton City Council Committee of the Whole moved forward Tuesday with an increased single-family residence abatement after home construction in certain areas.
The discussion, which started under former City Administrator Jessica Kinser, would increase tax incentives for residents in designated "blighted" areas — which are concurrent with the parts of the city's opportunity zones, Seventh Avenue North to Bluff Boulevard to South 14th Street. The city councilmen seem on board to pass a 100 percent abatement for 10 years in these areas on new construction.
"It does not remove what we currently have in place, the three years at 50 percent," assured City Administrator Matt Brooke.
The 100 percent abatement, rather than a previously discussed 115 percent, gives the city cushion to allow variances, and affords the city to continue with the general program. By July 24, the areas will be defined. Generally, changes to homes must be at least 5 percent increase to home value.
Brooke gave an example, citing a $50,000 home might save up to $26,000 in taxes over the 10 years. The method is based on a ratio of home value and the value of the work done.
“This won’t impact (city) operating income,” Councilman Cody Seeley said during a previous Committee of the Whole meeting. “If we have more people increasing property value, it helps us in the long run.”
This incentive attempts to encourage home upgrades and continued maintenance of homes.
“We’re spending so much funds on tearing buildings down,” Seeley said in a previous interview. “If someone buys a foreclosed house in the neighborhood of these districts, there’s an incentive to make the improvement instead of it just sitting there and becoming a nuisance property.”
Jeff Chapman, the city’s Building and Neighborhood Services supervisor, called the tax incentives an “out-of-the box” way to tackle the “epidemic” of unkept homes — which are generally identified by the more than 200 nuisance grass complaints.
Clinton allocates $100,000 per year to the Demolition of Structures plan, and this year the city is looking at an “aggressive” 39 demolitions (more than triple the average), according to Chapman.