By Danny Restivo
Township administrators hope new tax incentives can spark economic growth along Belmont Avenue.
Liberty Township administrator Pat Ungaro is offering a plan to give businesses property tax abatements if they invest in the area. His plan is part of the Ohio Department of Development’s Community Reinvestment program. According to the website, the program is “an economic development tool administered by municipal and county governments that provides real property-tax exemptions to businesses making investments in Ohio.”
Ungaro said the proposed plan for the township will offer abatements for investors looking to renovate structures.
“With this program, there is an added incentive for businesses to come to the township,” he said.
Ungaro said banks aren’t lending money for business to flourish in the area, so the township is trying to spark growth by slashing tax rates.
Under the proposal, the township would offer up to a 10-year abatement at 50 percent, but Ungaro said the rates will be negotiated with the board of trustees before they are finalized. “We are aggressively pursuing development,” he said.
Ungaro said some of the areas marked for abatements are the MetroPlex, the former Ramada Inn and the old Kmart plaza. The plan won’t offer the incentive for property purchase, only for improvements to existing facilities, he said.
Ungaro said the location of the structures along Interstate 80 make them ideal for commerce. This, along with sewer and water infrastructure, makes the township a prime location for prospective investors, he said.
The plan has to be approved by Trumbull County commissioners office as well as the State of Ohio before the abatements can take effect. If the plan is approved, Ungaro hopes to start marketing the incentives to businesses in September.