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New tax bill hits Akron Public Schools

The district received a shock this week when it found out it has to pay back $3.2 million in tax revenue owed to the City of Akron. 

Tim Rudell
In The Region:

Akron Public Schools got a lesson on how some things that slip out of view can come back to bite you.   WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on a multi-million-dollar hit to the system’s already battered budget. 

Tim Rudell - Akron schools take a hit

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Nobody was tracking the TIFs…and Akron Schools must now turn over $3-million dollars that was supposed to go the city, but was being temporarily held by the district.  
TIF stands for “Tax Increment Financing.”  Local governments use it to get businesses to locate in their communities.  TIF works with property tax, holding down initial rates for areas being developed-- as an incentive for businesses. It also uses the promise of higher tax receipts after the property is developed to borrow for things like new streets and sewers.  

Akron Public Schools got into a bind because all of the receipts from local TIFs went to the district, including money that was to go to the city later.  Those took a while, in some cases years, and the TIF “pass-backs” were no longer on anybody’s radar in Akron or Columbus when the accumulated tab finally came in this week.  It was a surprise, and a blow, to a district already facing a $9 million deficit and asking voters in November to approve a 7.9 mill levy.  

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