The Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution directing district leaders to negotiate a tax abatement agreement with the City of Cincinnati.
The resolution prioritizes the following considerations:
- The District should be "made whole" for forgone real estate taxes;
- In lieu of the annual fixed-sum $5 million payment the city pays CPS under the current agreement, the Board supports a higher percentage contribution from developers who benefit from the abatements;
- "School millage" should be reimbursed for any Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreements;
- An annual public reconciliation process with independent audit and verification to ensure that the District is made whole;
- A partnership between the city and CPS for providing and funding municipal services that directly impact the health and safety of CPS students, including school nurses, city-funded school-based health clinics, crossing guards and school resource officers;
- The term of the new agreement should not exceed five years.
"A priority of the District is to grow our school enrollment, keeping our current families in addition to increasing enrollment with new families attracted as a direct result of development," the Board stated in the resolution. "In addition to encouraging development, abatement incentives should be used to increase affordable housing, stabilize neighborhoods and create workforce development opportunities for graduating students."
CPS is the fastest-growing large city district in the state; the district gained more than 4,400 students in the past five years — more than the other seven urban school districts combined.
The existing tax abatement agreement expires December 31, 2019. A new agreement must be agreed upon by the City of Cincinnati and the Board of Education.