Jim Moody: Jump Starting Construction In Toledo

We need to get Toledoans back to work...now! Every economist in the world will acknowledge that construction can be a great economic engine. I propose that we begin a program that jump starts our residential and commercial construction so that we can get carpenters, electricians, painters and the like back to work. The financial boon to Toledo as a result of the economic multiplier could be staggering. I urge our professional politicians and elected officials to adopt the following.

First, I propose that all new construction of residential homes be afforded a seven to ten year tax abatement, city wide. Residential tax abatements have been highly successful in the Toledo area for several years. Unfortunately, these tax abatements have been regulated to specific projects. I want to remove all geographic barriers and make this a city wide incentive.

So that there is no net loss of tax revenue, I recommend that for residents moving into the city limits, the tax abatement be in the form of income tax credits and for those moving within the city, the abatements will be in the form of property tax.

Second, we need to get commercial construction fast tracked also. Toledo's building codes have become cumbersome and expensive. I propose the City of Toledo adopt the National codes of electric, HVAC and plumbing construction. Mirrored by our own County government, these regulations are approximately 20% less costly that those of the City of Toledo. I am confident that we can lure more construction projects by being more cost competitive.

Third, extend property valuation freezes to all rehab projects throughout the city. To encourage the rehabilitation of our stock of antiquated housing and commercial buildings, we will insure valuations of properties remain as they were prior to any improvements. This incentive will encourage property owners and investors to begin needed repairs and improvements, all the while not being penalized by increased taxes for their effort.

According to the HBA, every $100,000 in construction money spent results in $30,000 added to municipal treasuries. Imagine the hundreds of thousands of dollars Toledo will gain just by getting our construction professionals back to work.

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