NEZ Certificate Application
NEZ Summary
NEZ Summary Downtown Area

Pic-Depts-CondoComplexThe NEZ program has been very successful in assisting the City with its neighborhood revitalization goals. With the NEZ incentive and other programs in place, the City was able to stimulate the construction of new homes in old neighborhoods. In 1992, people were reluctant to build a new house at a cost of approx $160,000 in an area of $40,000-$50,000 homes. The NEZ program provided an incentive to people willing to risk building a new house in an old neighborhood. This incentive, combined with aggressive code enforcement, acquisition of substandard housing, and other investments in parks and streets, had a dramatic “ripple effect.” As the eyesore properties were eliminated, the remaining lots were either sold for new homes or to adjacent property owners for larger side yards and off-street parking. Better maintenance and new homes, less density and more open space, all led to greater investments. And as the NEZ program improved in popularity and the neighborhoods improved, the sale prices for City lots increased, as did the quality of new homes. Some specific program highlights are as follows:

The NEZ incentive reduces the tax millage on a homestead property from the City’s homestead millage rate of 48 mills to approximately 17 mills (1/2 of the statewide homestead millage). On $150,000 home, the program reduces property taxes from $3,600 annually to $1,620 annually (a savings of $1,980 to the homeowner).

As of January 2009, a total of 113 new homes had been constructed in the three NEZ areas created in 1992.

As of January 2009, a total of 32 new homes had been constructed in the four additional NEZ areas created in 2007.

Neighborhood Revitalization Programs

A strict code-enforcement program requiring the inspection of rental homes (1987).

An upon-sale inspection of single-family homes requiring compliance with building codes (1987).

Creating tax increment finance authority districts (TIFA) in 1991 to fund improvements, including property acquisition and investments in parks and streets.

Eliminating substandard housing and non-conforming land uses by purchasing property with TIFA funds (early 1990s).

Redeveloping "Brownfield" sites in the 1990s by utilizing funding from local, state and federal resources. The sites were often in the middle of existing residential neighborhoods. A Brownfield Redevelopment Authority was established in 1997.

The "Buck for a Basement" program where the City would sell a lot for $1 dollar in exchange for a higher quality home with a basement instead of a home on a cement slab. Instead of selling a lot for $3,000, the City would sell at a lower price as an incentive to encourage basement construction. Eight lots were sold this way in 1989-90.

The Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Program. The NEZ program began in 1992, when the City established three zones (see map). The zones were created in neighborhoods consisting of inexpensive homes built in the early 1900s to house workers for the industries in the area.

12 year NEZ Certificate Savings Estimate Calculator (Excel file)