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Policy Solutions recently completed a study of the City of Cleveland’s residential tax abatement program. The study examined 15 years of abatement activity to identify patterns of where abatement activity has been most concentrated, to understand the fiscal impacts the abatement has had on local tax revenues, and to identify opportunities to update the program in response to contemporary market conditions in the city.

Overall, Cleveland’s housing market remains fragile, while certain neighborhoods in the city are showing emerging strength. Over time the use of the residential abatement has become increasingly concentrated in these neighborhoods and nearby residents have expressed concern about displacement pressure in some parts of the city.

The residential abatement has been, and remains, an important tool to incentive development across the city, but more and different types of support will be required to catalyze more widespread redevelopment across the city. The recommendations presented in the report provide a range of viable paths for the City to consider in making adjustments to the tax abatement program – adjustments that will help support the equitable development goals within the City’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative.

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