Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
PROPERTY TAX REDUCTIONS TO SLAM CLEVELAND & ITS SCHOOLS
Submitted by Roldo on Wed, 09/02/2009 - 20:13.
A filing by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Partnership/Tower City Avenue LLC - i. e., Sam and the boys, have asked for a value reduction on parcel number 101-23-101F. It is ever so with the Tower City bunch. Reduce my taxes, please!
The filing asks a reduction of $105,736 in the value of the property to be taxed. They say the value of the Ritz should be lower than what the County has set it.
The request is justified for the following reason, according to the filing: “Recent sale(s) or comparable properties. Physical, economic, functional depreciation or obsolescence. Economic valuation based on gross or net income.”
According to an official of the Board of Revision, which takes such complaints, the part of the form that must be filled out, wasn’t done. The four selections remain blank.
I wonder if guests know that the Ritz-Carlton says it’s not as good as it is supposed to be.
The requested tax relief comes even though the Ritz has enjoyed 100 percent tax abatement in the recent past.
It is hard to expect, as I said in a previous posting, the Ratners and Sam Miller not to seek property tax relief, or evasion of a type. It’s in their financial DNA to not want to pay taxes, in my experience.
I reported recently that they asked for a $17 reduction of a property. Hardly seems worth it, right? But with such developers it’s the principle of it, I guess. They shouldn’t be paying property taxes at all is the way they must figure it. Let somebody else do it.
I did ask the Board of Revision for other tax reduction requests in the 101 portion of downtown Cleveland.
The Tower City boys had the most. The other reductions they sought include $425,288 for parcel 101-23-100C; $253,420 for parcel 101-23-100A; and 191,821 for parcel 101-23-085E. As I have said before the Tower City properties have many parcel numbers because there are a number of levels to the buildings there.
The total reductions come close to $1 million for these Tower City properties. Expect plenty more in number and value next year as the latest valuations are contested.
Because of this year’s reassessments next year many property owners downtown will be seeking reductions because of economic reasons, i.e., the economic downturn.
What this will mean for Cuyahoga County and especially Cleveland since downtown properties are all in Cleveland we know – a dismal economic outlook.
Here again is a reason why tax abatements hurt so much.
Buildings such as the Ritz-Carlton, the Marriott, Key Center and other downtown properties have been paying no taxes for much of the last two decades. Not that there’s a money crunch (and even before) the city will be suffering from the lack of revenue.
As these abated properties finally come back onto the tax rolls, what happens? The owners seek substantial reductions in the value of their properties. Some have sought reductions even when under abatement, foreseeing the desire to lower their taxes when back on the rolls.
Instead of an uptick in tax revenue, Clevelanders and Mayor Frank Jackson, the likely re-elected mayor, will really have a problem in the next few years. Cleveland schools, which get some 55 percent of the property tax revenue, will be hit even harder.
As a community we face a coming disaster with the loss of property tax revenue.
Here any cries of the danger from the Plain Dealer or Brent Larkin, who is worried about who is going to be the one County official that the Establishment can control come County reform. He’s even picking the one for the job. (I thought he was going to leave the editorializing to Betsy Sullivan, his replacement. He said he was but I guess he was not telling the whole truth. Then I should have known.)
Add to that, of course, is the tax exempted stadiums and arena and the likely new Medical Mart – tax to never pay any property taxes.
We can thank George Voinovich – who always gets credited for fiscal responsibility – George Forbes – who never has been credited with fiscal responsibility – for this situation, exacerbated by Mayor White and Commissioner Tim Hagan.
But these are the guys we choose. Time to be wiser citizens.
We do need, however, good information. Wonder whose responsibility that might be?