Hudson -- The Board of Education approved a proposed tax abatement and community reinvestment agreement with Homeworks Inc., which could bring in about $500,000 to district coffers by June 1, 2015.
The 85 percent abatement on property taxes passed unanimously, could help sweeten a potential move of Arhaus Furniture from Walton Hills to East Hines Hill Road in Boston Heights.
The abatement agreement stipulates the Village of Boston Heights will pay the district "a lump sum amount equal to $500,000 on or before June 1, 2015, for the purpose of construction of the Malson Athletic Center or other permanent improvement projects."
The village will also make annual payments to the district, in addition to the lump sum payment, if the agreement is passed.
The Board passed two pieces of legislation, one approving a community reinvestment agreement between Arhaus and Boston Heights and the 85 percent property tax abatement, according to Board President Dave Zuro.
The reinvestment agreement needed to be brought before the Board because the proposed location is within Hudson City School District boundaries Zuro added.
"Tax abatements, like it or not, are a way of life as far as attracting economic development into communities," Zuro said.
However, there are problems, according to Zuro. The taxes abated are property taxes, which help fund the schools, while the revenue from economic development is more income tax based.
Zuro called the agreement "equitable."
Board member Steve DiMauro agreed, calling Boston Heights a "good partner" with the district that is willing to help attract new businesses to the area.
I'm disappointed that no one is bothered by this "deal" -- offering a substantial tax break in exchange for $500K to help finance the new athletic center at the high school. It's too bad that our school board and school administration are prioritizing athletics over academics...