A school district concerned about a 100 percent 15-year tax abatement showed up to voice concerns at a Columbiana City Council meeting.
 
The school district which relies heavily on property taxes for funding believes it will potentially lose millions, but city officials counter the math.
 
Since 2019 Columbiana City has offered a 100 percent 15-year property tax abatement for new home construction in the city's Community Reinvestment Area. 
 
It has turned 250 vacant lots into homes.
 
But fewer property tax dollars have the Columbiana Exempted Village School Superintendent, Treasurer, and School Board members concerned the abatement is costing the school district money it needs to educate students. 
 
In Ohio school districts rely heavily on property taxes to pay for educating students. 
 
"We provided a proposal to try and offset any potential damages, any future damages. Fifteen years is a very long time for a tax abatement, specifically for a residential property," Don Mook Superintendent for Columbiana Exempted Village School District said. 
 
"There are 39 children currently coming in from these CRA properties. At $6,000 each, it's over 2 million dollars if those 38 kids stay the same for the next 15 years it will cost the school district less the income tax which is approximately $2,000 that's a lot of money," Scott Caron, Columbiana Exempted Village School Board Member added. 
 
However, the mayor believes other income the school district gets will greatly reduce that amount.
 
"There's still property tax to be paid on the land valuation, as well as the one percent income tax, so I feel pretty confident looking at the numbers now, I think there's not going to be a lot of difference between the income and the expense the schools going to have but if there we as a city don't want them to be harmed," Columbiana City Mayor Rick Noel said. 
 
The school district says it wants the amount of income taxes being collected from the homes that have been given a 15-year pass from paying property taxes, plus the amount of the property tax paid on the land valuation that the district receives so they can do the math. 
 
Columbiana City Council voted to have the city and school attorneys draft a plan so there's no harm to the schools.
 
They would then bring that plan back to the city council for a vote.