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Education

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

David James
M.L. Schultze
/
WKSU
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.