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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 17 2017 at 11:02am

Land Bank Board: Delinquent tax percentage adequate

Denise G. Callahan

  Staff Writer

6:52 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017  

 

BUTLER COUNTY

The Butler County land bank board has decided not to ask for a bigger slice of the delinquent tax pie, at least not for the foreseeable future.

Land Bank Executive Director Mike McNamara recommended the blight-busting agency hold to the 1 percent allotment of delinquent tax assessment collections funds, called DTAC funds, and his board concurred. DTAC funds are late payment penalties on real estate taxes.

In October the land bank board was considering whether to ask the commissioners for a higher percentage of DTAC funds, in part because delinquent properties are shrinking post-recession.

McNamara and county Treasurer Nancy Nix, who chairs the land bank board, surveyed other large counties and found 11 of 12 receive 5 percent of their DTAC funding.

“I recommend we stay at the one percent for another three years…,” McNamara said. “We are functioning well at one percent, we are able to address blight at a reasonable pace. We are able to achieve a number of grants and funding devices that are available to us. Without a specific need for an increase or a specific request for an increase or a program from the state telling us that we need to have a greater funding stream, I believe one percent is adequate.”

DTAC brought in a total $14.3 million and $131,701 to the land bank last year. An increase to five percent would yield $658,000. Whatever is siphoned off for the land bank takes away from other taxing bodies like schools, but Nix said Lakota, the county’s largest school district, was only out $27,000 from the one percent deduction. An amount she says was a drop in the bucket compared to their entire budget.

The land bank was formed in 2012 and two years ago Butler County commissioners agreed to siphon one percent of DTAC funds to bolster the land bank, help raise the required matching funds and open up services for the entire county. For the first two years only the cities of Hamilton and Middletown benefited from state and federal programs designed to beat back blight.

The main thrust of the program is to tear down foreclosed and abandoned buildings that are not only eyesores but can be magnets for mischief. Middletown City Manager Doug Adkins asked the board on Monday if they can revisit the DTAC issue sooner than three years because they are in the middle of a housing stock assessment and the city’s needs might change.

“We are in the process of completely reevaluating our housing stock and my guess is we’re going to to be doing a lot of demolition over the next five to 10 years still,” Adkins said. “Not because they are necessarily in foreclosure but because they are worn out houses that have done their time and it’s time to get them out of our housing stock and get more competitive housing in place.”

He said he wanted to make sure he could come back to the land bank board for money for these efforts, if need be.

“My thought would be one percent for 2017 is certainly, from Middletown’s perceptive, adequate but I would like to know I could come back in 2018 with a proposal, if there was a reason to go higher,” Adkins said.

The board agreed the DTAC discussion will remain fluid but for now the one percent is all that is needed.

 

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What A City View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote What A City Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 17 2017 at 12:14pm
Adkins:

"because they are worn out houses that have done their time and it’s time to get them out of our housing stock and get more competitive housing in place.”"

Ok Mr. Adkins. You have demoed many houses particularly in the old Second Ward of the city. Many empty lots remain from that demolition with no new construction in sight. Your statement above indicates you want to "get more competitive housing in place".

Question:

Out of all the houses that have been demoed in the city, how many empty lots now have updated, modern new houses as a replacement? Seems to me that a more common practice is to offer one half of the empty lots to each next door neighbor. Don't see new housing being built on the lots as you propose here. Are we sure that there would be a buyer for a new home in some of the demoed areas of town? We have seen new housing on land once occupied by Maple Park School. Then again, we haven't seen any activity at all at the old Roosevelt school site on Central nor the old hospital site. Don't have a need to get around town as much any more, to assess each area. Perhaps others who do can provide a more accurate assessment.
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Analytical View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 17 2017 at 6:22pm
The Maple Park mini-subdivision would never have happened absent a large amount of HUD subsidies.  Part of this deal was for the city to absorb the cost of demolishing the former Maple Park school.  The balance was used for infrastructure improvements and housing cost write-downs.  As I was told, almost $800,000 was the subsidy amount provided by the city. Marty and Angela have all of the details on this project.  About the same time (2004-2006) HUD funds were also utilized to demolish the Amanda school.

Please note that the size, quality and value of the new homes FAR EXCEEDED market values of surrounding smaller, more modest dwellings.  Yes, it was a large subsidy then.  And now, as certain senior city staff don't say, it would take even LARGER subsidies from HUD to construct new homes in all of the former Ward 2 "ground zero demolition" areas.  Please explain how market obstacles could be economically overcome given plans for more clearance deals over the next five to ten years?
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swohio75 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 17 2017 at 8:04pm
Originally posted by Analytical Analytical wrote:

The Maple Park mini-subdivision would never have happened absent a large amount of HUD subsidies.  Part of this deal was for the city to absorb the cost of demolishing the former Maple Park school.  The balance was used for infrastructure improvements and housing cost write-downs.  As I was told, almost $800,000 was the subsidy amount provided by the city. Marty and Angela have all of the details on this project.  About the same time (2004-2006) HUD funds were also utilized to demolish the Amanda school.

Please note that the size, quality and value of the new homes FAR EXCEEDED market values of surrounding smaller, more modest dwellings.  Yes, it was a large subsidy then.  And now, as certain senior city staff don't say, it would take even LARGER subsidies from HUD to construct new homes in all of the former Ward 2 "ground zero demolition" areas.  Please explain how market obstacles could be economically overcome given plans for more clearance deals over the next five to ten years?
Care to provide backup data and sources? 
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Analytical View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2017 at 7:11am
The Maple Pork undertaking was initiated two plus years prior to my January 2007 hiring as CD Coordinator. And, this January 20th is the eighth anniversary of my resignation.

You're asking the impossible of me and you know it.  I guess that my mentioning Marty hit a nerve?

Sad to say, the citizenry has seen quite a few generously subsidized deals in the city over the years.  The scarcity of well-planned, cost-effective projects (with some years later still incomplete) remains the real issue.  As far as this matter goes, you know much more than you indicate.  I never rubbed elbows with the power brokers like you.
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Douglas Adkins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Douglas Adkins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2017 at 7:52am
I like Maple Park and believe that we should finish it in time. It added value to that neighborhood. It was a good model to get quality housing built.

Right now we're working on the downtown plan. If you read my blog, you know that. Next will be the community visioning project and then housing will be mid year.   Transportation will be late 2017 after the other pieces are done.

You are free to comment on any and all pieces that we are working on. Input is encouraged. A lot of these housing questions will come into focus in the next few months and then we'll have a more robust conversation.
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What A City View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote What A City Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2017 at 8:53am
Mr. Adkins:

"Right now we're working on the downtown plan"

No, Mr. Adkins, not just "right now".......You and those who preceded you (Kohler for example) have been "working on the downtown plan" for a decade or more. As a matter of fact, I think we can accurately say that your downtown area has consumed 95% of the "working effort" aspect of the city development. All we ever read about in the Journal is the work being done in the downtown area, how the city has plowed millions into the effort and what businesses have been coming and going. It is the flagship for development in this city as the concentration on the "arts mecca" theme seems to be at "tunnel vision" levels at this time.
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swohio75 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2017 at 11:04am
Originally posted by Analytical Analytical wrote:

The Maple Pork undertaking was initiated two plus years prior to my January 2007 hiring as CD Coordinator. And, this January 20th is the eighth anniversary of my resignation.

You're asking the impossible of me and you know it.  I guess that my mentioning Marty hit a nerve?

Sad to say, the citizenry has seen quite a few generously subsidized deals in the city over the years.  The scarcity of well-planned, cost-effective projects (with some years later still incomplete) remains the real issue.  As far as this matter goes, you know much more than you indicate.  I never rubbed elbows with the power brokers like you.
No - the lack of factual citations and your consistency in posting here and deleting within 24-48 hours all your posts so that you don't leave a "track record" of your accusations and insinuations is what hit a nerve.  

All what you are saying should be a matter of public record no?  

I don't rub elbows with power brokers.  Far from it.  I've never been on city hall's dime.  You are clueless. 
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