Citizens For A Better Norwood

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Norwood homeowner explains Community Reinvestment Act

We want to thank Norwood resident Cameron Kelly for his extremely informative account about his experiences with the Community Reinvestment Act.

Guest blog by Cameron Kelly

It’s a great time to improve your property in the city of Norwood! Little known by the masses, in 2009, the City of Norwood passed a CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) under ordinance 18-2009. The primary purpose of the CRA is to encourage the remodeling, construction, and/or improvement of residential and commercial structures within designated areas. In return, the property owner gets a property tax exemption for a percentage of the improvement. For one and two family dwellings, the exemption is 100% of the added value. For example, prior to the passing of this ordinance, if you purchased or resided in a $100,000 home and made $50,000 worth of improvements to it, your property tax basis would have been increased to reflect a $150,000 value. Now, if you apply for the CRA, your taxes will be based on the value of the home before improvements (in this case, $100,000) for 10 years! The application deadline, as of this writing, is December 31, 2015.

Some important notes are as follows:
· All improvements must be part of the primary dwelling. Garages, sheds, driveways, etc. are not included.
· Residential applications must be accompanied by expense receipts no more than (1) year old.
· All work must be permitted through Norwood’s Department of Building and Inspections .
· For owner-occupied, one and two-family dwellings with a minimum of ($10,000) of improvements, the exemption is 100% of the increased value for (10) years.
· For the NEW construction of owner-occupied, one and two-family dwellings with a minimum of ($125,000) of improvements, the exemption is 100% of the increased value for (10) years.
· Condominiums have nearly identical exemption amounts and lengths as the one and two-family dwellings listed above.
· Incentives for dwellings of (3) or more units, as well as commercial and industrial uses are also available, though at a lesser percentage, and subject to additional negotiated terms.

Our family recently purchased and renovated a single family home using the CRA and the process was very smooth and simple. We submitted this application for a building permit to Norwood’s Department of Building and Inspections along with appropriate plans and were issued a permit within a few days. We spent the next few months on the renovation, making sure to keep all of our receipts. If you are using a single contractor, the good news is – you only have to submit a single receipt! We did a large amount of the work ourselves, so we opted to itemize our receipts on a spreadsheet to make it easier for the Building Commissioner to follow. Once the project and all inspections are complete and approved, the building department will issue an occupancy permit. It is then permissible to gather up all of the project receipts, fill out the application for the CRA
by clicking here, and submit it to the building department. Within a few weeks, we had approval of our application. At this point, the building commissioner forwards the information to the Hamilton County Auditor’s Office, which processes the tax exemption for the subsequent tax years – that’s it!

For more information, or to get a copy of the 18-2009 CRA ordinance, stop by the Building Department located in the city hall. All information contained above is merely my personal experience…..they are the experts and can provide appropriate guidance.

In summary, the CRA is a fantastic incentive to consider Norwood as a place to reside. The process was smooth and the building department very helpful in answering questions and guiding us through the process. We are proud of our “new” home and are thrilled to be living here!