Lakota approves changes to township tax district

Officials at Lakota Schools recently approved a change proposed by West Chester Township in the school system’s tax increment agreement regarding commercial property around Ohio 747. The changes will help offset recent tax revenue loses for the schools from township changes in the tax district at Union Centre Boulevard area near Interstate 75.
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Officials at Lakota Schools recently approved a change proposed by West Chester Township in the school system’s tax increment agreement regarding commercial property around Ohio 747. The changes will help offset recent tax revenue loses for the schools from township changes in the tax district at Union Centre Boulevard area near Interstate 75.

Lakota Local Schools has signed off on an amended tax agreement with West Chester Twp. to help offset recent, unexpected tax funding losses from a change in the Union Centre taxing district agreement.

The Lakota Board of Education has unanimously agreed to changes made by township officials in another tax increment financing (TIF) district — near Ohio 747 — in the township to help lessen the annual tax revenue losses from recent township changes from the Union Centre pact.

Under changes done in September by West Chester Twp. trustees, Lakota Schools lost millions of dollars annually through an extension of the Union Centre TIF.

The new Ohio 747 TIF changes, however, will add $2 million in tax revenue to Lakota Schools, said Lakota Treasurer Jenni Logan.

The recent school board meeting saw members approve an “amended school compensation agreement proposed by West Chester Township for its Ohio 747 TIF,” said Logan.

“The amendment increases the school’s annual compensation from the Ohio 747 TIF by about $2 million, beginning in tax year 2019. It follows the township’s recent announcement to extend the Union Centre Boulevard TIF an additional 15 years, which would have otherwise produced about $5.5 million annually for the schools.”

Logan said the newest (Ohio 747) amendment … did help lessen the potential impact to our future revenues. While we’re still not receiving the full amount we anticipated, we appreciate the township taking the time to hear our concerns and respond to them.”

The net loss to the Lakota School’s $156 million annual operating budget from the changes in the Union Centre and Ohio 747 TIFs will be about $2.1 million annually.

Logan said the township’s changes “did help lessen the potential impact to our future revenues. While we’re still not receiving the full amount we anticipated, we appreciate the township taking the time to hear our concerns and respond to them.”

West Chester Township Administrator Judith Boyko said that’s part of being a partner with its local school district.

“West Chester takes seriously its responsibility as a partner with Lakota Schools and is committed to make the most fiscally responsible decisions for long-term community sustainability,” said Boyko. “West Chester appreciates Lakota’s willingness to support a negotiated compensation agreement that preserves future opportunities for enhanced economic investment, mutually benefitting the community and Lakota.”

TIF districts are an economic development tool that many local governments use to encourage new investment in an area.

A district typically surrounds a parcel or group of parcels and enables the taxpayers within it to make payments into a special fund in an amount equal to their property tax liability for the life of the TIF. These payments in lieu of taxes are used by the local governments to retire debt incurred for the infrastructure improvements — such as roads and water and sewer lines — needed to support current and future development in the area of the TIF.

The schools receive property taxes from this district on the original value of the property. The TIF collects only payments on the increased value of the property as a result of improvements to the properties.

Township trustees are scheduled to vote on the amended Ohio 747 TIF agreement at its 6 p.m. meeting Tuesday at the West Chester Township Administration Office at 9113 Cincinnati-Dayton Road.

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