Cincinnati’s new residential tax abatement proposal could spur new development in targeted neighborhoods 

The REALTORS Alliance of Greater Cincinnati (RAGC) provided input during the development of Mayor Pureval’s new plan 


JANUARY 13, 2023 – CINCINNATI, OH – At the request of Mayor Pureval, in August 2022, the REALTOR Alliance of Greater Cincinnati held a working group with key RAGC volunteer leaders to assess the proposed restructuring of the current Cincinnati residential tax abatement program.  

The REALTOR working group drafted a response with feedback that encouraged the Mayor to: include a comprehensive communications strategy to educate residents on the program; close a loophole preventing abatement disqualification due to recordkeeping; offer weighted benefits to owner-occupied properties; provide consideration for special assistance for property owners in the expand neighborhoods who fall below a certain income level; ensure new programs don’t displace current residents; and allow for a tiered pricing system for the application fees. 

“This change is long overdue and is supported by residents, ” says Jason Kunkel, REALTOR with Kopf, Hunter, Haas Realtors and Chair of the RAGC RPAC (REALTOR® Political Action Committee) Committee. “From my perspective, it is hard to argue against the plan because the tax abatement program was always intended to spur development in lower-income or distressed neighborhoods. Mayor Pureval’s proposal course corrects and provides the much-needed attention to properties in the “expand” neighborhoods.”  

The RAGC Advocacy Committee is a group of volunteer REALTORS who advocate for local policy initiatives that strengthen people’s ability to own, buy, and sell real property. In 2022, the Advocacy Committee conducted an informal survey of issues important to REALTORS and found that the top three issues were affordability, access to financing, and first-time buyer assistance. 

“The overarching goal of any revised tax abatement program should be to continue growth and to add a layer of equity to how the abatement policy strategically incentivizes development in neighborhoods that have not seen the levels of investment found in neighboring communities,” says Mary Huttlinger, RAGC’s Government Affairs Director, “When implemented correctly, these programs can drastically empower a community’s revitalization efforts, and Mayor Pureval’s plan does just that.” 

*WVXU’s summary of Mayor Pureval’s proposal can be found here 

*Mayor Pureval’s full plan can be found here