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Lawsuit Accusing City Of Favoring White Residents For Property Tax Breaks Leads To Settlement 

A recently settled federal lawsuit in #Cincinnati, spanning nearly four years, involved Black residents accusing the city of favoring white homeowners in its residential tax abatement program. The lawsuit alleged racial discrimination in program operation, exacerbating residential segregation. The settlement permits the program's continuation under the condition that efforts are made to increase Black resident participation.

The Cincinnati #Tax Abatement Program, intended to allow property owners tax breaks for property improvements, had a minimum renovation cost requirement, disadvantaging lower-income homeowners. The lawsuit criticized the program's lack of consideration for its segregative impact.

“Nowhere in the application or approval process is there any consideration by the City of Cincinnati of the degree to which the granting of tax abatements will have a racially segregative effect on the residency pattern” in the city, the lawsuit said.

City data revealed disparities in tax abatements, with predominantly white neighborhoods receiving a significant portion compared to majority-Black areas. The settlement mandates expanded outreach, monitoring for racial biases, and improving accessibility to the program.

As part of the settlement, the city will pay $110,000 to the suing homeowners. Cincinnati's Mayor, Aftab Pureval, expressed commitment to enhancing program accessibility and equity, aiming to benefit underinvested communities.

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