Standards for residential development

house example for CRA residential abatement page

City of Cincinnati Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) Residential Tax Abatement

When you build a new home or invest in renovations, your property taxes can go up. The City of Cincinnati’s Residential Property Tax Abatement makes it possible for property owners to minimize the taxes they pay. The Abatement allows owners to pay taxes just on the pre-improvement value of their property for 10-15 years. Property tax abatement is available for any increased valuation that results from improvements to the property for new construction and renovation.

The Residential Property Tax Abatement Program aims to:

  • Stimulate Community Revitalization
  • Retain City Residents
  • Attract Homeowners
  • Reduce Development Costs for Homeownership and Rental Projects

LEED: Longer abatement terms and/or higher maximum abatements may be available for properties that meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. LEED standards are—in increasing order—Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Additional information regarding obtaining LEED certification may be found on the U.S. Green Building Council website:

VISITABILITY: Longer abatement terms may be available for properties that meet City of Cincinnati Visitability Standards. Visitability is a concept that encourages the construction and renovation of residences to enable mobility-impaired persons to visit persons in their homes without undue obstacles. To receive the Visitability Certification bonus, property owner must initiate the Visitability Certification process at the beginning of the permit application process with the Department of Planning and Buildings.

Additional information regarding City of Cincinnati Visitability Standards is available at the link below.

Tax abatement benefits stay with the property the entire length of the abatement and transfer to any new property owner within the approved time period.

A $75.00 application fee must be submitted for each application. Make check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to “City of Cincinnati”. Include the property address and “Residential Tax Abatement Application” on the memo line. Cash and credit cards are not accepted. Applications will not be processed until proper application fee is received. Because the fee offsets the administrative costs of processing applications, the application fee will not be refunded if the application is denied.


All condominiums and one-, two-, or three-unit structures within the City of Cincinnati—new construction or rehab—may apply for the tax abatement program. A minimum of $2500 for one- and two-unit structures and $5000 for three-unit structures must have been spent on eligible activities. The Hamilton County Auditor's Office determines the abatement amount based on the type of improvements.

An increase or decrease in taxes during the abatement period may result when voted changes in tax rates, state-mandated reappraisals or updates reflecting neighborhood trends are adopted.

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