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Akron Schools' Complex Deal With the City Involves Agreement That Expires in 2093

David James
M.L. Schultze
Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James says the deal is good for all sides, since it also involves land swaps with the city and county.

A deal to finance the Akron schools’ new administration building is going to be offset by the city catching up on millions of dollars it owes the schools under a 22-year-old tax agreement. 

In 1996, the city and school district agreed on a long-term deal to share property tax revenue from businesses that get tax breaks to keep or expand their operations in the city. But the city missed more than $5 million of those payments in recent years.

Now, Akron is loaning the district $10 million to buy the administration building, but the schools can apply those missed payments to the loan -- meaning they won’t have to start re-paying the city until 2023.

Superintendent David James says it’s a good deal for all sides.

“The city will get a little over a million dollars in interest from us in their investment pool. We get to move into a newer building that’s a lot more efficient than these nearly 100-year-old buildings.”

James adds that it may be time to re-examine the 1996 tax deal with the city to make sure it’s fair for both sides and to perhaps standardize when payments will be made from the city going forward.