Cincinnati New Tax Abatement: 6 Things You Need to Know

Updated: Mar 15

Cincinnati’s new tax abatement is a hot topic among residents. This program makes homeownership and home improvements more accessible. By implementing the new changes in the program, the city aims to meet four goals:

  1. Boost revitalization in the community

  2. Retain Cincinnati residents

  3. Attract homeowners to Cincinnati

  4. Decrease development costs of home renovations and homebuilding

If you’re considering building a new home, it’s crucial to fully understand what Cincinnati’s new tax abatement entails. Below you’ll find helpful facts, details, and resources related to the program. Use this information to maximize the benefits of custom home building.


1. What Is Tax Abatement?


First, it’s important to know what exactly tax abatement means. Abatement is a reduction or exemption in the level of taxation you meet. For example, tax rebates for homeowners are an example of tax abatement.


Abatements are implemented by the government, and they are designed to encourage and incentivize certain activities. The new Cincinnati tax abatement plan was created to stimulate home buying and home building within the community.


Tax abatement doesn’t mean that you’re completely exempt from paying taxes. However, the reduction in payment is very significant. Depending on the program, individuals can save thousands of dollars per year if they qualify for tax abatement.


2. How Does The Cincinnati Tax Abatement Benefit Homebuyers?


Tax abatement stimulates growth in the city of Cincinnati, but how exactly does it work for you? Homebuyers benefit greatly from the program; this includes those who are building custom homes. Some of the noteworthy benefits include:

  • Long-term financial savings

  • An increased resale value of your home

  • An increased return on investment

  • A reduction in energy costs in your new home

If you choose to work with custom home builders, you can ask about additional benefits that tax abatement offers. Experienced and knowledgeable builders can ensure you get the most from the city’s program.


3. Who Qualifies For The Cincinnati Tax Abatement?


It’s important to make sure that you meet all of the requirements for the new Cincinnati tax abatement program. Below are the main qualifications to keep in mind. You must:

  • Make program-approved renovations/repairs OR build a home that meets program requirements.

  • Invest at least $2,000 to $2,500 in home renovations, repairs, or building.

  • Pass an annual inspection of the exterior of your property.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to meet these requirements if you choose custom home building. The investment you make in your new home typically meets the financial minimum. Additionally, custom builders will adhere to the program requirements to make sure you qualify.


4. Maximize Tax Abatement By Meeting LEED Standards


To maximize your tax abatement amount and length, plan to build a home that meets LEED standards. LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”, and it’s a rating system used for green building.


The system ensures that commercial and residential buildings are energy-efficient and eco-friendly. There are multiple tiers of LEED criteria that Cincinnati homeowners can meet. These are the criteria for newly constructed homes.


  • Non-LEED Qualified Homes - A maximum tax abatement value of $200,000 for a 10-year term.

  • LEED Silver Qualified Homes - A maximum tax abatement value of $400,000 for a 15-year term.

  • LEED Gold Qualified Homes - A maximum tax abatement value of $500,000 for a 15-year term.

  • LEED Platinum Qualified Homes - A maximum tax abatement value of $650,000 for a 15-year term.


You can visit the Green Cincinnati website to read additional details and criteria for the City of Cincinnati’s LEED tax abatement. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to consult your custom home building company.


5. What Are The Long-Term Benefits Of LEED-Certified Homes?


Building a LEED-certified home may cost more upfront, but don’t let this put you off. These initial fees are outweighed by the long-term financial and economic benefits. If you build a LEED-certified home, tax abatement is just one of many upsides.


Reduced Utility Bills

The U.S. Green Building Council outlines the significant financial savings for LEED-certified homeowners. These homes use less water and energy, decreasing monthly utility bills. Here are some examples provided by the USGBC:

  • The average household pays approximately $2,150 per year on energy bills.

  • Standard LEED-certified homes use 20 to 30 percent less energy than non-certified homes.

  • LEED Platinum homes use 50 to 60 percent less energy than non-certified homes.

  • This allows homeowners to save at least $200 to $400 per year on energy bills.

  • Over time, this leads to thousands of dollars in savings.


This factor alone offsets the construction costs related to LEED-certified homes. Your long-term energy bill savings may even surpass those costs.


A Healthier Home Environment

The materials used for LEED-certified homes are known for creating a healthier living space for families. LEED guidelines are designed to minimize the airborne pollutants that homeowners are exposed to. Enhanced ventilation and air filtering reduce exposure to dust, mold, and spores.


Federal Tax Credits

Cincinnati’s tax abatement isn’t the only financial benefit of building a LEED-certified home. You can receive federal tax incentives for following LEED standards. The exact tax credits and incentives you qualify for will vary, but you can anticipate long-term financial savings.


6. How To Apply For The Cincinnati Tax Abatement


To participate in the tax abatement program, you need to fill out an application. The city website has a printable application for the Cincinnati tax abatement. On the same page, you’ll find links to program guidelines and additional information.


Before you fill out your application, discuss it in detail with your custom home builder. A mistake in the paperwork process could raise issues or lead to a rejected application. Consulting with experienced builders will help you avoid this potential problem.


Cincinnati’s Tax Abatement Program For Your Custom Home


The team at Ashford Homes are well-versed in following the specific processes needed to qualify for Cincinnati’s tax abatement incentives. Our building process can help ensure that all necessary LEED requirements are met, as well. We can also assist you with tax abatement paperwork.


Our goal is to help you fully understand the abatement process from start to finish. This allows you to focus on designing a custom home in Cincinnati that’s perfect for you. If you’re interested in receiving tax abatement benefits, contact Ashford Homes at 513-442-5555 to start the process.



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