Playground at Bell Creek Intermediate
What's Up With All The Cornerstone Properties?
The best way to look at the properties going up in the Cornerstone area, is that they're located in the city of Centerville. What complicates this, is that while they may be located in Centerville physically, they are zoned for Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools. With that in mind, we'll try to explain the tax arrangement as it applies to the schools.
Cornerstone was created and built on a complicated legal agreement between Centerville and Sugarcreek Township, called a “Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Arrangement”. All buildings that are built in the TIF area, both commercial and residential, are exempt from taxation and instead make “Payments In Lieu Of Taxation (PILOT)” to Centerville. Based on the TIF arrangement, Centerville then pays Bellbrook/Sugarcreek schools a portion of that money.
This was not an easy arrangement. Some of you may remember the dispute Sugarcreek Township had with Centerville during the original Cornerstone development, which involved determining who was responsible for funding police and fire services in that area and who would extend water/sewer lines. At the time, Sugarcreek Township was concerned with the possibility of annexation. The TIF arrangement allowed the development to proceed and got our area some of the financial benefits of the construction.
Two of the incoming residential properties in the TIF area have been mentioned several times at Board of Education meetings recently. There is a 50+ community that's been agreed upon as well as a standard apartment complex. BSS has worked with Centerville to get as much in TIF from these properties as it can. They're receiving more from the standard apartments because any children living in them would become part of the BSS student body. They are getting less from the older community due to the assumption that it will minimally impact the student body, if at all. BSS did arrange to get far MORE from the older community than is typically standard in these arrangements, though.